The Austro-Hungarian Army started planning the construction of a narrow-gauge field railway, called “Feldban” (from the German word Feldbahn) because the existing transport systems (roads and the railway) did not cover the needs of the army on the Isonzo Front. They started with the construction of the “Feldban” in the Cerkno and Idrija regions.
On 15 August 1916, the construction started of a 17 kilometres long railway track from the railway station Logatec to Godovič. In Godovič, the railway forked into two tracks. One was 53 kilometres long and ran through Zadlog towards the Trnovski gozd plateau. The other was 12 kilometres long and continued towards Idrija. The railway was built by different army divisions, reservists (mostly older workers from the Idrija Mercury Mine) and POWs.
The section between Godovič and Idrija was built in one month (September 1916). It was a demanding construction due to various natural obstacles which had to be overcome by means of rock cuts, tunnels, a small bridge, turning points and galleries. Between the 11 September and 18 October 1917, they also built the 28 kilometres long track from Idrija through Spodnja Idrija, Straža, Reka, Stopnik and all the way to Dolenja Trebuša. Frequent landslides caused serious troubles during the construction.
In the beginning wagons were pulled by horses. The railway was used to transport soldiers and army equipment, ammunition, food, animal fodder, etc. towards the battlefield. In the opposite direction, the wounded, mail and refugees were transported from the areas of the ongoing fights.
In 1917, horses were replaced by a petrol locomotive and the tracks had to be relocated in some places. Numerous personnel were specially trained for the maintenance and the normal functioning of the railway.
After the breakthrough at Kobarid in October 1917, the “Feldban” quickly lost its importance. For some time it continued to be used by the locals for their own needs.
Remains of the track can still be seen in some sections.
After two kilometres from Idrija towards Logatec, the road turns right to Bela. Follow the road to a parking lot by the road next to Lake Divje jezero.
The hiking trail “Feldban” is 12 kilometres long and is not suitable for younger children (wedges, a ladder).