Gulbene is the terminus of the remaining service that operates on the 750mm gauge 210 km line between Stukmani and Valka, which was opened in 1903. Most of the line has been closed, but there is a regular service, usually of two daily trains, over the 33 km of track between Gulbene and Alūksne. A single journey takes about 1½ hours. Trains consisting of carriages made in Russia and Poland are hauled by Russian-built diesel locomotives, but a steam locomotive is also regularly employed. This is No Gr-319, an 0-8-0 called Ferdinands, built on an order from the USSR by Orenstein & Koppel at Babelsberg in the former GDR in 1951. This is the only narrow-gauge railway in the Baltic states that continues to offer regular passenger services.
Visitors, whether individuals or groups, are offered a variety of experiences. The forest and lakeside scenery through which the line passes is particularly attractive. The station at Gulbene is a distinguished two-storey building in the neo-classical style designed in 1926 by architect Peteris Feders (1868-1916). Visitors are welcome to visit the adjacent depot and workshop where they can see both broad- and narrow-gauge tracks, and an unusual dual gauge turntable. They can provide the following services on the regular and special trains, guided tour on the board of train, train robbery and other shows, refreshments on the train and in the open air, transportation of bikes for cyclist groups of up to 40 persons, rides on hand driven trolley and accommodation in the ascetic relaxation premises of locomotive crews or in the parlour car of Estonian Communist Party leaders.