Saisraud

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The Saisraud (corporate name Riispere Saisrud O.V.) is a narrow-gauge (800mm) tourist railway in the Taamras region of Karolia. It was originally constructed as a transport system for the movement of minerals and lumber during the nineteenth century. The line is famous for its technical achievements in construction and for its spectacular scenery.

History

The Saisraud was built in stages between 1848 and 1923 initially in order to serve the lumber, mineral and coal mining industries that were beginning in the Kiisa Taamras. Roads at this stage were in a poor state of repair in the mountains and liable to be closed by flooding, landslips and erosion, and there was no mainline beyond Riispere until 1902. The section from Riispere to near Cespina Por was the first to be completed in 1854, followed by a branch to the shore of Kiisjarvi. By the 1880s skiing and winter tourism had already begun to play a part in the railway's operations.

The last goods train ran in 1960. From then on the railway switched to being a stakeholder-owned organisation exclusively for passenger traffic.

Route

The Saisraud's main terminus is at Riispere and the main line runs from there to Goslan on the eastern side of Kiisjarvi. There is also a branch which itself splits into two to follow the lake.

The railway timetable advertises three main routes, all starting in Riispere, however short runnings are often included in the daily timetable to accommodate passenger levels and because the length of trains is limited on the steepest gradients.

Route A

  • Riispere Losse
  • Riispere Kastjaam (interchange with mainline)
  • Torsjana
  • Jaarvi Milakai
  • Sepsiina
  • Cala va'Arelle
  • Porgu Ratanescu
  • Pekkamu
  • Cespina (interchange with mainline via steps)

Route B

As route A as far as

  • Goslan

Route C

As route A as far as

Technical

The entire network uses 800mm gauge track. This is around half the width of the Karolian gauge used on mainlines and is necessitated by the sharp curves required to pass through the mountains. The line speed is limited to 50kmh and as low as 15kmh on some sections.

Depot

The main servicing depot is at Torsjana in the suburbs of Riispere. This contains a turntable, an engine workshop, engine shed and carriage workshop.

Rolling stock

Passenger carriages of the Saisraud

The tight curves and narrow loading gauge have meant that the railway has had locomotives and wagons built to specific dimensions, often in its own workshops. In recent years passenger carriages have been commissioned from commercial manufacturers, some specifically designed for skiiers with room for equipment.

Locomotives

The railway used steam power exclusively until the 1960s. Four of the original engines are retained in working order and are used regularly for services.

The rest of the stock are diesels built between 1962 and 2008.

Passenger cars

The railway's current stock includes heritage coaches from 1890-1935 and modern from 1966 to 2007. The usual paint scheme is red with a white stripe along the bottom and under the roof. Interior cloth is a red pattern.