Making of the Pigeon railway (Baloži peat museum railway)
In Spring 2013 enthusiasts from BDK got to know, that the Baloži peat railway was supposed to be dismantled. In a hurry a railway inspection trip was organised, to explore the remains of the railway, before it is dismantled. In parallel with organizing of the trip, head of BDK met representatives of the company, owning the railway – Pindstrup Latvia Ltd., to discuss an idea to not to dismantle the railway, but to turn it into a museum railway. And to make sure that the railway is not only preserved, but also made interesting to the society and preserved in a qualitative way, it was supposed that a peat extraction museum (which is the aim of Pindstrup Latvia Ltd. and other peat extractors) could be organized adjacent to the museum railway (which is the aim of the BDK).
After prolonged discussions we were fortunate to convince the owners of the railway to support this idea, and on 28th August 2013 a contract of cooperation was signed between BDK and owners of Baloži peat railway, stating that the railway shouldn’t be dismantled, instead it should be preserved and transferred in a museum railway, and that both sides should cooperate in creation of united museum of peat extraction. We nicknamed the railway - Pigeon railway, as the town’s name Baloži means pigeons in Latvian and found it sound good also in English.
BDK in collection already had many carriages and locomotives, that were collected from former peat railways, and due to historical and technical reasons they didn’t fit in the Gulbene – Alūksne narrow gauge railway, which is a mainline railway, not an industrial railway. Thus a creation of such museum railway would provide the ideal atmosphere for preservation of peat railway heritage, and was treated as an unique chance.
In year 2013 first volunteer activities were organized on track cleaning from bushes, and since 2014 broader activities on track repair and rolling stock restoration were turned out.