The former railway line No. 416 Wałcz Raduń - Wierzchowo Pomorskie.
In 1898, Wałcz was connected with Wierzchowo Pomorskie and further with Złocieniec, in the north-west direction. In Poland, the trail was given No. 342, later No. 363, and finally No. 416. The trail was about 38 km long.
Railway line No. 416 Wałcz Raduń - Wierzchowo Pomorskie is a railway route that no longer exists. The trail served as a local connection. It was built in Prussian times in two stages. On December 3, 1898, the section Wałcz Raduń - Rudki was opened, and on November 10, 1900, the section Rudki - Wierzchowo Pomorskie. Kalisz Pomorski - Mirosławiec - Wierzchowo Pomorskie - Złocieniec Trail; already existed, so trains from Wałcz Raduń station could go straight to Złocieniec.
The owner of the trail was Lenz & Co GmbH. At the outbreak of World War II, in December 1939, the line was subordinated to the state company Landesbahndirektion Pommern, i.e. the German National Railways - Pomerania. The company managed standard-gauge and narrow-gauge railways from Szczecin to Słupsk. It was these railways that were the victims of the Russian plunder in the period 1945-1946. In 1946, cargo and passenger traffic on the Wałcz Raduń - Wierzchowo Pomorskie route was restored already in the Polish times.
In the 50-60-years of the twentieth century, the route was operated by steam locomotives. Tkt3 locomotives were used very often there. The TKt3 locomotive is a German-made tendrock locomotive (standardized type BR86), derived from the BR24 and BR64 steam locomotives, produced in the period 1927-1933 by various German plants, and from 1939 also in occupied countries, including the H. Cegielski plant in Poznań . The design of the low axle load locomotive, only 17,000 kg, was intended to handle trains on secondary lines with weaker track and short distances between stations. The advantage of the locomotive is the same speed both forwards and backwards, which, in the absence of turntables at small end stations, facilitates the operation.
Passenger carriages of the side type or newer pedestrian carriages with covered platforms were attached to the locomotive. The locomotive consisted of two or three wagons. The steam locomotives on the route No. 416 were operated for a very long time. In the 1980s, SM42 diesel locomotives and "Ryflak" and "Bonanza" carriages were used.
Line No. 416 was built at the lowest cost. It was led along car roads, without the need to build viaducts. All the crossings were at the same level and mostly without barriers. There were only barriers at the crossing in Wałcz along Nowomiejska Street and in Wierzchów Pomorskie along Długa and Szkolna Streets. All the stops had low platforms and small warehouses. The line was single-track and never electrified. There was a passing run in Świerczyna Drawska. There were no semaphores on the trail, and the ride took place after telephone arrangements and according to the schedule. The shaped semaphores are available only at the Wałcz Raduń and Wierzchowo Pomorskie stations. Road and rail crossings were wooden. In the 1970s, the wooden pavement was replaced with prefabricated concrete slabs. Some of these crossings exist until now (2021).
After leaving Wałcz, the trail led through numerous arable fields, and from the village of Rudki, the trail led mainly through forest areas. The difference in height in the terrain was small, so the trains moved smoothly. However, there were numerous bows that did not allow the maximum design speeds to be developed. Unguarded railroad crossings and irresponsible road users were a major obstacle for the drivers (mechanics).
The line was well maintained. Wooden, damaged sleepers were replaced with new ones, and in the 80s even with long concrete sleepers, between Świerczyna Drawska and Bęblino.
Passenger traffic on route No. 416 was stopped in 1992. Freight traffic was carried out until 1995. The demolition of the line began in 2010 in the city of Wałcz, on a length of approximately 0.56 km. The tracks were dismantled from the first turnout at the Wałcz Raduń station to the city border. These areas were included in private plots. In 2014, the demolition of the remaining route began. The main demolition works were carried out in 2016. At that time, the track was already very infested with weeds, and trees, self-seeders, were already growing in the forest areas. Demolition works were completed in November 2016. A fragment of the track that is part of the Wierzchowo Pomorskie railway station has remained and is treated as a siding. There were plans to build a bicycle path along the former railroad road.
Railway stops on route No. 416: Wałcz Raduń 0 km, 113 m above sea level, Wałcz Paszutil 2.77 km, 111 m above sea level, Kłębowiec 5.78 km, 111 m above sea level, Karsibór 10.07 km, 120 m above sea level, Kolno Wałeckie 12.81 km, 126 m above sea level, Rudki 18.04 km, 136 m above sea level, Kłosowo 19.25 km, 133 m above sea level, Wielboki 22.43 km, 137 m above sea level, Świerczyna Drawska 24.71 km, 138 m above sea level, Sośnica Pomorska 28.99 km, 141 m above sea level, Bęblino 31.56 km, 147 m above sea level, Wierzchowo Pomorskie 37.87 km, 141 m above sea level.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman