The Csömödéri Forest Railway, with a length of 102.9 kilometers in Zala County, is the longest small railway network in Hungary. Interestingly, only a third of it is used for passenger transport, with freight trains carrying timber still accounting for the majority of traffic. Its lines pass through charming villages and connect many tourist attractions. The narrow-gauge railroad winds through the charming landscapes, hills and forests of Zala and has become one of the main tourist attractions of the region in recent years. The small train, operated by the Zalaerdő Rt. Whale Railway Company, is very popular among hikers and trekking fans. The construction of the Zala Forest Railway was started over a hundred years ago, for purely economic reasons. It was a problem to transport the wood from the clayey forest to the wet, impassable dirt roads. For this reason, the first narrow-gauge railroad was built at the end of the 19th century. Originally there were two independent lines: the Lenti- Zajda and the Csömödér- Kistolmács branch line. In order to operate the railroad economically for passenger and timber transport, a connecting branch line had to be built. The connection between the Lenti-Silvačiai and Csömödér-Kistolmács lines was completed in late 1999 and early 2000. Since 2004, the light railroad has also introduced some innovations. Every second Sunday a nostalgia train runs on the line between Lenti and Kistolmács. On special request, the steam locomotive Ábel, imported to Zala from Transylvania in 2000, is also available. At the end of the trip there is an exhibition about forestry, sawmill and railroad history. The first room is dedicated to the past and present of the Zala Forest Railway. The route of the forest railroad covers the Kerka Valley and the beech region of Zala County, including the Vétyem Forest. During the train ride you can see not only a buzzard, but also a black stork. A rare bird in the area is the marsh harrier, which hides in the grass and can usually be heard only by its very distinctive and immediately recognizable sound. Of the forest birds, songbirds and woodpeckers are more common.