A unique opportunity to explore Småland is to take a narrow-gauge train from Hultsfred to Västervik, Sweden. The track is 71 kilometers long, was officially in use from 1879 to 1984 and it has a width of 891 mm. At Hultsfred the tracks are located next to the normal railway tracks and at Västervik you can see combined tracks with three rails.
On the track sometimes narrow-gauge steam engines operate but most times rail buses from the 1960s are used. The train ride goes through nice forests and along beautiful lakes. On the way the train stops at some stations mostly to pick up tourists going to Västervik. There you can enjoy the harbour, go on a boat tour or visit the Naturum and Västerviks Museum.
At Hultsfred you can easily park you car in front of the station. You’ll have to cross all tracks to get to the narrow-gauge tracks. The trains operate in high season three times a day in both directions – check their schedule on the Internet. On the train you can only pay in cash – that was the only time I saw that during our vacation.
The train and also parts of the rail network are maintained by a private association. On board you can buy coffee, some drinks, postcards and a tour guide – but they are not as professional as a company would be. At Västervik it is 10 minute walk to the harbour and additional 10 minutes to the museums on the Kulbacken. Local transport within Västervik is therefore most often not needed by tourists.
577 30 Hultsfred, Sweden
593 31 Västervik, Sweden