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ronik24

Lost Industry

It might seem like a remainder of an industrial railway, but it's not. Actually, for a long time worlds were parting the foreground and the background of this scene although they originally belonged to the same town. The talk is about Waldviertel narrow gauge railway - now a pure tourist line - at Gmnd, Austria. In the background you can see industry - including a steam loco maintenance facility still working today - in the part of the town belonging to the Czech Republic, called Ceske Velenice. In the Austro-Hungarian empire both parts formed one town with one big railway station, as the mainline here was one of three important lines between Vienna and Prague. The empire was split up, the town was split up after WWI - and the narrow gauge railway was rerouted. The former main station of Gmnd is now the station of Ceske Velenice and a new station was formed on the Austrian side with the narrow gauge also leading to it as the rest of the Waldviertel narrow gauge network was now on Austrian soil. As if this separation wasn't enough, the iron curtain went right through the town digging only deeper trenches along a heavily guarded border. Until now Waldviertel region hasn't recovered from being at the "edge of civilisation" for decades, it's still one of the most rural and least populated provinces in Austria - just 50 kms away from the next big town in the Czech Republic, Ceske Budejovice (yes, it's Budweis!).

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