Our forest railway system passes through the hills of Göcsej, in the length of 109 kilometres, hikers can travel by passenger trains running between Lenti and Kistolmács, in the length of 32 kilometres. Wood material is transported in significant quantities by the Csömödér State Forest Railway to the wood processing plants in Lenti and in Csömödér, and it also transports processed wood to further destinations connecting to MÁV lines.
Passenger trains run scheduled, according to the timetable from the end of April to the end of September.
Trains are started at another time, on special days or at festivals, such as on Children’s Day, on St. Martin’s Day, or at the Nights of Museums. Special trains are provided as well, as required.
Closed carriages are heated in the colder months, and bicycles can also be transported on the trains when the weather is appropriate for a trip. The greatest favourite of passengers is the nostalgia train running on the section between Lenti and Kistolmács that is pulled by the nostalgia steam engine locomotive from Transylvania, named Abel. The Abel produced in 1955 was named after the novel character of Áron Tamási, since as well as the main character of the story popular with many people, the steam engine also passed through the forests in Transylvania before arriving in Hungary. The steam engine locomotive was renovated significantly in 2018-2019, thus, it started work with renewed energy and an entirely new look in 2019.
There are several tourist routes connected to the railway, both for cycling and for hiking, so more and more hikers will combine their cycling or hiking tours with some cosy forest railway trips.
The Csömödér ÁEV-lines run passing the pine region of Göcsej, the Kerka-Valley, and the beech-landscape of Göcsej. Departing from Lenti you can admire the forests of Zajda, you can travel to the Ancient Beech-woods in Vétyem, and to the Arboretum in Budafa with the Acorn-Adventure Playground.
The building of the forest railway station in Lenti was built in 2004. It has a waiting hall and two other halls furnished for exhibition purposes and they have provided the venue of the permanent exhibition on the history of forestry, sawmill industry and of railway, and on hunting with the title of “Treasures of Göcsej, the forest and the tree” since May 2005.
Since the establishment of the company the Zalaerdő PLtd has paid attention for searching and preserving all memories of Zala County of our forestry, hunting and sawmill industry history rich in special events; in addition, for establishing newer and newer intellectual values supporting our professional culture. We strictly believe that our nation needs the honour and the respect of our past, since we are obliged to do it so through the words of the “Greatest Hungarian”, Count István Széchenyi: “Future can be built only on the honour of the past!”
With the help of the document, photo and object materials of the halls of the railway station, which reminds us both in its style and its atmosphere of the estate buildings of the greatest forest land in Göcsej once, of the Duke Esterházy entail, visitors can have a glance into the colourful world of the typical and valuable forests in Göcsej, into the hard and unselfish work of the foresters working for them, into the history of the almost 200-year-old forest railway, into the results of red deer breeding and last but not least into the memories of the saw-industry in Lenti.
The purpose of this exhibition is that visitors – who are interested in the exhibition - can get a bit more information about the building and about the exhibition itself; and that way they will definitely be aware of that after the great forester predecessors of Zala County once the valuable forests of Göcsej are still in safe hands as well.
You can get to know the past of the sawmill in Lenti, with the help of an authentic steam engine using the place of almost an entire room and of the forefront of a steam boiler manufactured in 1923, which is considered to be a rarity nowadays.
In the railway history exhibition in the waiting hall next to the model of the forest railway running scheduled we can get valuable information both on the features of the forest railway and of the Zalaerdő PLtd on an interactive map.