Polish scheduled steam continues…

by

… in Wroclaw and Smigiel.

GWR small prairie at Birmingham Snow Hill in the 1920s? No it’s January 2008, and 5521, restored to perfection by Bill Parker, is being shown to the public at Wroclaw Glowny. (photo R. Boduszek. Click on picture to see it in its original context. WARNING, Polish text)

When the last fire is drawn at Wolsztyn on Friday July 4 it won’t quite be the end of scheduled, as opposed to ‘special’ steam workings in Poland. The Wroclaw – Jelcz Laskowice service will be worked by steam, either by Tkt48-18 or GWR small prairie 5521 as follows:

May 28th – June 5th Tkt48-18
June 18th – June 26th GWR 5521
following week Tkt48-18 (dates tbc.)
Aug 3rd – Sept 11th Tkt48-18
Sept 17th – Sept 25th GWR 5521
Oct 8th – Oct 16th Tkt48-18
Oct 22nd – Oct 30th GWR 5521

There will also be some steam haulage of the narrow gauge service trains on the Smigiel Railway between Stare Bojanowo and Smigiel. But it won’t be quite the same without Wolsztyn. A recent post on the kolejelist discussion group (this one is in ENGLISH!) puts an optimistic slant on recent developments. Nonetheless, the facts are that local PKP Cargo director at Poznan, Mr Wasilewski, is being starved of resources to keep the Wolsztyn steam engines running reliably. With Howard Jones’ Wolsztyn Experience only contributing 10% towards PKP Cargo’s costs of running the Wolsztyn Depot, and PKP Prezwozy Regionalne (the passenger train operating company) reliant on a subsidy from the Wielkopolska Council, the long-term future for the continuation of scheduled service train steam operations at Wolsztyn does not look very bright.

To complicate matters, a three way power struggle has broken out between PKP Cargo, PKP Przewozy Regionalne and the Wielkopolska Chief Executive’s office about who will eventually control Wolsztyn.

Let’s all hope that, while the parties fight it out amongst themselves, the baby is not thrown out with the bath water!

More:

Wolsztyn Experience – News and Events
You Tube – nice video clip of 5521 arriving at Wroclaw Glowny

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