Wolsztyn, so what should we DO?


Wolsztyn Autumn (photo PolandPoland.com, click on pic for photo in original context)

I’ve been giving a lot of thought about what to do about Wolsztyn. It’s clear that the way the steam depot (not Howard Jones’s Wolsztyn Experience) is managed at present is not sustainable. The engines are poorly maintained and increasingly unreliable. The number of drivers and skilled fitters available to Mr Wasilewski, the local PKP Cargo Director, is too small. The passengers want a service that they can rely on. And yet with all its shortcomings, the Wolsztyn steam trains bring tens of thousands of tourists to Poland from all around the world. The goodwill and ‘brand recognition’ associated with Wolsztyn is amazing. It would be an enormous waste if, for lack of getting all the stakeholders working together, this unique locomotive depot lost the essence that makes it so different – the daily ordinary timetabled trains hauled by steam – and Wolsztyn became yet another steam centre servicing locomotives that haul ‘steam specials’.

So who should we write to? The crisis has come about because the key stake holders are not working together. So it’s a no-brainer that our representations should be made to all of them urging them to get the responsible officials sitting down all together, ideally with Howard Jones of WE in attendance, and start talking!

The key stakeholders are:

1) The Chief Executive of Wielkopolska province:

WP Marek Wozniak
Budynek C, pokoj nr 7, parter
al. Niepodleglosci 18
61-713 Poznan

tel: (61) 854 1799
fax: (61) 852 6007

e-mail: kancelaria@umww.pl

Mr Wozniak officials are responsible for transport and tourism in Wielkopolsk. Perhaps they should be talking to each other?

2) The Chairman of PKP, Poland’s state-owned railway company:

WP Andrzej Wach
Prezes Zarzadu
Polskie Koleje Państwowe S.A.
ul. Szczesliwicka 62
00-973 Warszawa

tel: (22) 47-49-000
fax: (22) 47-49-020

e-mail: biuro.zarzadu@pkp.pl

Mr Wach’s subsidiary companies, PKP Cargo and PKP Przewozy Regionalne can’t seem to agree how Wolsztyn should be run. Perhaps Mr Wach to encourage them to come to an agreement?

3) The Minister of Infrastructure

Mr Cezary Grabarczyk
Minister Infrastruktury
ul. 4/6 Chalubinskiego
00-928 Warszawa

tel. (22) 630 14 10
fax (22) 630 14 14

4) The Minister of Sport and Tourism

WP. Mirosław Drzewiecki
ul. Senatorska 14
00-921 Warsaw

Tel: (22) 2443 102
Fax: (22) 2443 217
e-mail: dwm@msport.gov.pl

Perhaps it would be a good idea for the Minister of Infrastructure and the Minister of Sport to encourage their Under Secretaries of State: Mr Engelhardt, responsible for railways; and Mrs Soborajska, responsible for tourism; to talk to one another.

If you are responsible for organising groups who visit Wolsztyn, if you have been to Wolsztyn, or if you were planing to go, and if you would like Wolstyn to retain its unique position as Europe’s last steam depot servicing engines hauling ordinary trains, please write to all the above stakeholders.

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One Response to “Wolsztyn, so what should we DO?”

  1. Gavin Whitelaw Says:

    Well said, but PKP have not learned from any of the mistakes made in the West with rail privatisation and I suspect unless they do bang heads together (and I believe there is a meeting on 20th June to do this – hopefully) Wolsztyn will be another museum depot in a few months time – maybe not this year but soon. It IS unique and if they get the proper EU funding in place it can stay unique – and in the great sphere of things it won’t cost much from the EU budget compared with the millions they throw away at far less worthy schemes!

    I am out there in mid July and will see what is happening at the depot as I know some of the guys well. Not really concerned if there is no steam as I have a really good time chilling out in Poland anyway! And I will have been down to Bielsko Biala with the Tkt48 anyway!

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