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The Jindřichhradeck narrow-gauge train is coming to life. We are looking for job reinforcements

Trains could return to the narrow-gauge line in just a few weeks. The popular tourist attraction stopped at the beginning of October 2022. Its operator, Jindřichhoradecké local railways, ended up in insolvency and owes creditors around 360 million crowns. The stations on the narrow-gauge route in Jindřichohradeck and parts of Vysočina are served by buses all the time.

In the meantime, the property of the narrow gauge is deteriorating. The sprayers destroy wagons at the railway station or the protective wall of the former shooting range on Šajba.

| Video: Diary/Adam Hudec

The last date that is discussed in connection with the resumption of traffic on the narrow-gauge line is June.

“Optimism still does not leave us, and we aim to resume operation of the narrow gauge railway for the course of June. We won’t promise the exact day yet, but we would like to go out sometime during June,” said Jan Píšala, a member of the board of directors of Jindřichohradecké local railways and head of JHMD repairs, adding that the preparation of vehicles and infrastructure for operation is currently in full swing. At the end of April, the track was also inspected by the state supervision of the Railway Office, which will issue a safety certificate for the railway operator. This is the last necessary document that is missing to start operations. The process of granting it can take several weeks.

Jindřichhoradek local railways currently have 14 permanent employees. The new management of the company has already started looking for new reinforcements for the upcoming season.

Source: Diary/Lenka Novotná

“In order to restore narrow-gauge operation, we will of course need engine drivers, train conductors, stokers for steam locomotives, but also various part-time workers, for example at refreshment or souvenir stands. We will probably also strengthen the workshop for the maintenance of rolling stock, maybe also the infrastructure, and we will need track workers,” Jan Píšala mentioned, adding that those interested can find more detailed information on the Facebook profile of Jindřichohradecké local railways.

They also reach out to former employees

However, the operation of the narrow-gauge railway will only be seasonal this year and will probably end on the last day of October. The company will therefore recruit only part-timers in the overwhelming majority. But people still apply in large numbers. “Surprisingly, there is relatively strong interest from people who have never worked here before. It shows that people perceive the narrow-gauge train as a certain phenomenon of the Jindřichohradecka region,” Jan Píšala did not hide his joy. At the same time, the JHMD company is also gradually reaching out to its former employees, who already know the job and know how to operate vehicles.

Currently, the reorganization of JHMD is in full swing. Her plan should be ready by the end of May. It is expected that the real estate and the tracks would be bought by the newly established association of municipalities around the narrow-gauge railway.

Traffic will probably return to the narrow-gauge line this June.

It is decided. The regions selected the carrier for the Jindřichohradek narrow gauge railway

“We would have everything based on leases. It means that we would subsequently rent the property to someone else and gradually repay it thanks to the rental income. In this way, we would not have to spend our own funds on the purchase and in the future we will be the owner,” previously explained the principle of functioning of the future union of municipalities, the mayor of Jindřichov Hradec, Michal Kozár. A month ago, the regions also selected a carrier from two candidates that should operate the trains during this season. The South Bohemian Region and Vysočina agreed on the Brno company Gepard Express, which offered a lower price per train kilometer.

JHMD owns narrow-gauge trains from Jindřichov Hradec to Obratán and to Nová Bystřice. Operation on the Novobystřice line began on November 1, 1897. The line from Jindřichov Hradec to Obratán was completed in 1906 and was primarily used for the transport of wood, coal and agricultural products. Under the weight of the boom in other transport, however, the operation of the narrow-gauge railway began to lose money and was threatened with extinction. It was saved from him in 1995 by the Jindřichhradecké local railway company, which started operating the narrow-gauge railway as a tourist attraction. During normal operation, five diesel locomotives and one steam locomotive moved along the tracks. Tens of thousands of people were transported annually.

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