The first section of this system opened as a metre gauge line in 1913 from Elk (a standard gauge junction with lines to Olsztyn, Ketrzyn, Olecko and Bialystok) to Borzymy with a branch from Laski Male to Zawady Tworki. An extension of the Borzymy line to Turowo opened for public use in 1918. In 1945 the railway was taken over by PKP and 1951 it was converted to 750mm gauge, with the metre gauge equipment being transferred to the Pomerania and Warszawa systems.
The system has a total of 48km of line, and in 1989 it carried 183,173 passengers and 20,351 tons of freight. Following reductions in the timetable (services on the Zawady Tworki and the Kalinowo – Turowo section had already ceased) regular passenger services ceased in June 2001. There had been no freight traffic for some time.
In September 1991 the line was registered as a monument by the local authority and attempts were made to create a museum operation. A wider variety of locomotives was brought in, including Px48 and Kp4 steam locomotives, and some old four-wheel coaches were loaned by the railway museum. The line has been taken over by the local authority and trains are running on summer weekends to Sypitki. Further developments may be in the pipeline.
Other sites featuring Elk:
Jeffrey Dobek's site:
Helge Ralf Harling's site (German language): http://home.eplus-online.de/harni/
A seemingly commercial site: www.polska.net/train/
Some basic information which may be of use to those planning a visit:http://www.kolej.pl/~pablo/pl/info_Elk.html
Another seemingly commercial site: http://www.elknet.pl/egt/kolej.htm
A good Polish language site:
Goodwin, Stephen Goodwin & Dave Meller