Krszeszowice Finale

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I don’t usually celebrate the closure of a railway museum, but the liquidation of the so-called Skansen at Krzeszowice is a cause for rejoicing. The Skansen had been the brainchild of Jerzy Rechziegel who set up the Ogolnopolskiej Fundacja Ochrony Zabytkow Kolejnictwa, National Foundation for the Preservation of Railway Heritage. He persuaded several distinguished senior PKP executives to become executives of the Foundation, leased the railway yard at Kreszowice station and collected a total 14 steam locomotives and various items of rolling stock. The locomotives included engines which were the property of the Railway Museum in Warsaw. He also received locomotives from PKP and various industrial concerns. Railway enthusiasts became alarmed when he also set up a scrapyard on the site and locomotives in his collection started vanishing. Attempts by Polish railway enthusiasts to persuade the Malopolska Conservator of Monuments to list the locomotives as heritage items failed because key documents were missing or unavailable. Meanwhile the state of the remaining exhibits rapidly degraded and everybody in the Polish railway heritage scene expected the remaining locomotives to be cut up and the site liquidated.

In October 2007, PKP Cargo took the lead to sort out what had become a national scandal. A railway track to the yard was restored and the Warsaw Museum engines were prepared for a move. Meanwhile volunteers from Pyskowice worked on the other engines. In January, the Warsaw Museum engines were moved by PKP Cargo. A few in reasonable cosmetic condition went straight to Chabowka, the others finished their journey at the PKP Cargo railway workshops in Krakow. Finally on 2 March Ty43-1, Ol49-15, TKp 2261 reached Pyskowice Railway Centre courtesy PTK Holding S.A., which is an enthusiastic sponsor of the Museum project.

Dyspozytor

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