Trains of the Jokioinen Railway have been running on this narrow gauge railway in the municipalities of Humppila and Jokioinen for more than one hundred and ten years! Here is a brief summary of the history of the Jokioinen Railway from 1898 to 1974, and of the Jokioinen Museum Railway from 1971.


The railway and its traffic sources

The 23-kilometre railway from Humppila to the town of Forssa via Jokioinen was opened for temporary traffic on December 9, 1898. On October 25 1899, the railway began permanent passenger and freight services.

Jokioinen Railway was the second privately-owned narrow gauge railway opened for common carrier services in Finland. (The first private narrow gauge railway in Finland was the Mänttä Railway, which began services in 1897.) The main-line length of the 750 mm gauge railway was 22.4 km. The narrow gauge was selected because the construction costs for building a narrow gauge railway was estimated to be lower than those of building a traditional broad gauge railway. Originally, only 15 kg/m rails were used on the railway, but in 1933, these were replaced with heavier 22.3 kg/m rails. Today's Museum Railway from Humppila to Jokioinen has been almost entirely relaid with even heavier 30 kg/m rails.

When the Jokioinen Railway opened for service, there were only five passenger stops on the railway. From north to south these were: Humppila station, Minkiö halt, another railway halt at the Jokioinen manor house, Jokioinen station, and Forssa station. In 1930s, when railbuses came into use on the railway, approximately ten new halts were established at the most important railway crossings. There were also sidings to a sand pit between Humppila and Minkiö, a brick mill just after Minkiö on the way to Jokioinen, factories in Jokioinen (such as the Feraria nail factory, nowadays OFA oy) and the peat lifting plant between Jokioinen and Forssa. In Forssa the railway was connected to the industrial railway of the Finlaysson cotton mills, which was electrified with 500 VDC.

Traffic from 1898 to 1974

Freight traffic was the principal traffic on the railway from the very beginning until its closure. Originally the railway was built to serve the needs of the expanding industries in Jokioinen and Forssa. Forssa produced cotton fabrics, and Jokioinen's metal factory needed an easy outlet for its products via the broad gauge network of the Finnish State Railways at Koivisto (now Humppila) station, and thence to world markets. Most of the raw materials for local industries were also transported on the Jokioinen Railway.

The best year for freight traffic was 1940, during the short peace between the Winter War and the Continuation War, when a total of 90,000 tons of freight was carried on the Railway. The top year for passenger traffic was just after the Wars in 1945, when an annual total of 402,254 passengers was carried on the railway.

Steam locomotives


The original motive power of the Jokioinen Railway was two American tank steam locomotives (Nos. 1 and 2) which were built in 1897 by H. K. Porter in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. These locomotives were in operation for over 50 years until 1948.

In 1900, the Railway bought another American steam locomotive from the Baldwin Locomotive Works, and it was given number 3. This locomotive was soon found to be too heavy for the light 17 kg/m rails of the railway, and it was sold to Estonia.

In 1922 the railway purchased a small tank locomotive made by Lokomo in Tampere, Finland; in 1937 it bought a large tank locomotive made by Henschel in Kassel, Germany. This locomotive had to be given to the Soviet Union as a penalty fee for late war reparation payments in 1945.

To replace the Henschel lost to the Soviet Union, the railway ordered two new locomotives from S. A. Les Ateliers Métallurgiques Nivelles Division de Tubize in Belgium. These locomotives were delivered in 1947 and 1948 and given numbers 4 and 5. Number 4 is still in use at Jokioinen Museum Railway; Number 5 was sold in 1972 to Great Britain after suffering serious damage to its fire box and untill autumn 2006 it was running on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway in Wales. In October 2006 it was bought back to Finland and on 15 October 2006 it was running for the first time in about 40 years on the track of Jokioinen Railway.

Diesel locomotives

During the 1950s and 1960s, the last years of the railway, trains were powered by a roster of four diesel locomotives. These locomotives were Move 21 models, manufactured by Valmet Airplane factory in Tampere, Finland. Originally, this type of locomotive was meant as a war payment to Soviet Union but about ten locomotives were not accepted by Soviet Union and remained in Finland.

The Loviisa-Vesijärvi Railway, which operated between Lahti and Loviisa, bought three of these locomotives, and when that railway closed, they were sold to the Jokioinen Railway. The fourth Move 21 locomotive was bought by the Jokioinen Railway from the Hyvinkää-Karkkila Railway after it closed in 1967. There is currently two Move 21 locomotives in operation at the Jokioinen Museum Railway and one under renovation.



Beginning in the 1930s, all passenger traffic on the Jokioinen Railway was carried in railbuses. Two railbuses ran on the Jokioinen Railway. The first railbus ran from 1930 to 1932 and the second ran from 1932 to 1942.

During the Second World War, the second railbus was taken over by the military and transferred to the narrow gauge railway of Saarenpää, a fortress island in the Eastern Gulf of Finland. When Saarenpää was later lost to Soviet Union, the railbus and all other equipment of the Saarenpää railway was taken as well.

It has been later discovered that the railbus was taken to Rigar in 1946 and rebuilt in 600 mm gauge. It was then used untill 1962 at at 110 artilery division located between Mikeltornis (Piza - in Livonian language) and Lielirbe (Ire).

Rolling stock

The Jokioinen Railway had a total of about one hundred freight cars. Most of these were manufactured at the end of 1800s in England and Finland and were in use throughout the time the railway operated, from 1898 to 1974. In 1960 more freight cars were bought from the Loviisa-Vesijärvi railway when it was re-gauged to broad gauge. A lot of these freight cars remain at the present day Jokioinen Museum Railway.

The railway had three passenger coaches. These coaches were built by Hietalahti Shipyard in Helsinki (today Kvaerner Masa-Yards) on top of frames and trucks manufactured by Leeds Forge & Co in England. The passenger cars were rebuilt as open flat freight cars in the mid-1950s, but on the day of the Jokioinen Railway's 100th anniversary festivities on 7th of June 1998, one of the passenger cars returned to service fully rebuilt on its original trucks and frame after several years of restoration work.

The Closing of the Jokioinen Railway

In the 1940s, the Jokioinen Railway faced growing competition from increasing road traffic. The war had slowed this competition down, but within 10 years passenger traffic had ended. The last passenger trains were withdrawn in 1954 and the railway started to use highway buses for its passenger services.

Freight service continued for another 20 years more. The Jokioinen Railway was able to stay competitive much longer than other narrow gauge railways in Finland (like the Loviisa-Vesijärvi Railway or Hyvinkää-Karkkila Railway) because it used pallet wagons from the 1930s until end of services on the railway. With these pallet wagons, the broad (1524 mm) gauge VR freight cars could be transported on the narrow gauge railway. This way the slow and expensive transfer of freight at Humppila station could be avoided.

By the end of the 1960s, however, the railway began to show signs of old age and wear. The track and the rolling stock were almost all more than 70 years old and large investments would have been needed to compete against the growing automobile and truck use, but the railway's owners were no longer willing to invest any more money in it.


Birth Of Jokioinen Museum Railway

At the same time, in the beginning of 1960s, rail enthusiasts began to take an interest in the Jokioinen Railway. When the Hyvinkää-Karkkila Railway was closed in 1967, Kymin Oy, the owner of the railway, presented their steam locomotive No. 5 to a group of rail enthusiasts. The locomotive was later transported to the Jokioinen Railway depot at Forssa. In 1971, weekend museum train service began between Forssa and Humppila with this locomotive and a couple of cars bought in 1969 from Kymin Oy.

Response to the museum trains was positive and summer services continued until 1973, when the owners of Jokioinen Railway cancelled the contract for the museum train traffic made with Museum Railway Forssa-Humppila (now the Museum Railway Association). This was a sign of the coming closure of the railway, which happened in spring 1974.

The last revenue freight train of the Jokioinen Railway ran on March 31, 1974 from Humppila to Forssa. The train was pulled by steam locomotive No 4 with "OHI ON" ("It's all over") texts written in white chalk on the water tanks of the locomotive. Immediately, 9 km of the railway between Forssa and Jokioinen was torn up and in 1975 the line between Minkiö and Humppila was also lifted.

Difficult negotiations began between the owner of the railway and Museum Railway Forssa-Humppila. Finally a company called Jokioinen Museum Railway Oy (Ltd.) was established. It raised money by selling shares, and on February 2, 1978, the company bought the Minkiö-Jokioinen Railway line with its land and buildings. Thus the Jokioinen Museum Railway was born.

Steam trains began running on the Jokioinen Museum Railway between Jokioinen and Minkiö in the summer of 1978 and continued along the same route until 1994 when an additional 8 km of rebuilt track between Minkiö and Humppila opened for traffic. The total main-line length of Jokioinen Museum Railway is now 14 km. This reconstruction work was made possible by the support of the Jokioinen and Humppila municipalities, and financial and material help of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the VR Ltd the ex-Finnish State Railways.