The country’s oldest narrow-gauge railway is celebrating its milestone anniversary. The Zsuzsi Forest Railway started operating 140 years ago this year, on 16th July 1882, transporting timber felled in the Gúth forest. The train, which now operates as a sightseeing tour, will celebrate the anniversary with a series of festive events throughout the year, the first of which will be the Zsuzsanna Day Winter Farewell on 26th February.
The Zsuzsi Forest Railway traditionally starts each year with the celebration of Zsuzsanna Day. This year will be no different, but instead of 19th February, the name day will be held on 26th February – 140 days before the 140th birthday – and there will be a winter party with music and dancing and traditional activities.
On Saturday 26th February, the Zsuzsanna Winter Party will start at the starting station on Ruyter Street, from where the Zsuzsi steam train will depart at 10:00 a.m. and arrive at 11:00 a.m. at the rest area near the Nature House in Hármashegyalján. The guests arriving with Zsuzsi will be greeted with a joke and a dance party by the members of the Bihari Banda Traditional Association and their musician friends, who will start the winter celebrations with a fire dance after the musical welcome. With the help of environmental educator Edit Varga, the participants can make their own kebab to bury their troubles and ward off winter. The Flaming Snails fire juggling team will perform a spectacular fire performance, lighting the bonfire where everyone can cook their own food. The train will depart from Hármashegyalja back to Debrecen at 1:00 p.m. after the programme closes.
At the Zsuzsanna Day Winter Farewell Event, passengers of the Zsuzsi Forest Railway can say goodbye to winter, and get a taste of the rich programme of the 140th anniversary year, including thematic forest tours, interactive family and community programmes, commemorative exhibitions, and activities promoting active recreation and nature conservation throughout the year.
Scheduled services will start on 12th March.
The Zsuzsi Forest Railway’s spring programme:
Saturday 12th March: Not just for women – discover your own “inner forest”!
Tuesday, March 15th: March youths on the train
Saturday, March 19th: The forest awakens – Hike with the birds!
Saturday 26th March: the whole world is theatre – nature’s “colour” plays
Saturday 2nd April: Deer World, Forest Animals in a Story – interactive performance and forest walk
Saturday 9th April: Live healthy, live natural! – Health Day in Hármashegyalján
Saturday 16th April: Easter in nature – “Bunny maze” forest walk
Saturday 23rd April: Small Railway Day at Hármashegyalján
Saturday 30th April: Herbs of the field – forest hike
Sunday, 1st May: Mayfest in nature
Saturday, 7th May: Birds and Trees Day at Three Hills
Saturday, 14th May: The forest is singing – a forest walk with an interactive bird show
Saturday 21st May: create in nature with the treasures of the forest!
Sunday 29th May: children’s day at Hármashegyalján
For information on the events planned for 2022 and the current timetable, visit the Zsuzsi Forest Railway website.