Double celebrations at Rogow

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Return to Gluchow – the first train since the track was damaged by thieves almost a year ago. Photo FPKW.

On Saturday 17 November the Rogow narrow gauge railway celebrated the 10th anniversary of the first trains in preservation. PKP ceased passenger operations on the Rogow narrow gauge railway on 9 June 2001 and freight operations at the end of September 2001.

It took a year for PKP to hand over responsibility for the line to Rawa Mazowiecka district council and for the council to conclude the necessary licence with FPKW, The Polish Narrow Gauge Railways Foundation, with the formalities complete in October 2002. The first public passenger trains under FPKW ran on the All Saints Day public holiday, 1 November 2002.

Track repairs on the Rogow narrow gauge railway. Photo FPKW.

This year’s event was more than a celebration of the 10th anniversary; it was also a celebration of the reopening of the line beyond Jezow, where in December last year thieves stole 11.5 tonnes of rail bolts and chairs, and in the process damaged 460 sleepers.

Behind the Water Tower readers supported the campaign to raise funds for the repair of the line, and the foundation also received support from the Rawa Mazowiecka district council, and donation of materials from PKP PLK. In the end the task was too large to be completed by volunteer labour so contractors were employed to repair the line between Jezow and Gluchow, while volunteers repaired other smaller areas of damage that had occurred beyond Gluchow during the period that the line was closed.

Tenth anniversary special train on the bridge over the river Rawce. Photo FPKW.

The special train on 17 November consisted of diesel locomotive Lyd1-215, van, traditional Polish 1Aw passenger coach and brake/postal van. Thanks to the efforts of the volunteers the train was able to reach not only Gluchow, but all the way to Zamkowa Wola, the first station beyond Rawa Mazowiecka, 32km from Rogow. Congratulations to all at FPKW and Rogow for this fantastic achievement.

However, the work is not yet complete – there is more damage to repair beyond Zamkowa Wola. FPKW have again appealed for help in raising the money to restore the final 17km of the railway between Zamkowa Wola and Biala Rawska. Any donations would be gratefully received. Behind the Water Tower readers who would like to make a donation can do so without incurring bank transfer fees by using the PayPal donation button on the FPKW homepage.

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