Railway To Let

by

Desirable narrow gauge railway available on licence

Karczmiska Station ©M Stateczny
(click for original context on NKD POLISH website)

It’s not often that the chance comes up to acquire an European operational narrow gauge railway as a going concern. But when the railway is 100 km from the capital city, is next door to a major tourist hotspot, runs past the grounds of a country’s foremost private health spa, and comes unencumbered of any loans or bad debt, the opportunity is unique.

At the end of the 2008, SKPL will be terminating its agreement with Opole Lubelskie district council regarding operating the 750 mm gauge Naleczowska Kolei Dojadowa (Naleczow Local Railway). The railway, makes a deficit of approximately 50,000 PLN (12,500 GBP) per annum. There is considerable scope for improvement, as an estate agent would put it. The strength of SKPL is in running freight trains on the USA ‘short line’ model while the Naleczow Railway’s future potential is undoubtedly as heritage railway focussing on tourists, rather than as a commercial ‘common carrier’ railway.

Anybody wanting to operate the railway would have to decide whether they would want to operate on their own or partner with an existing organisation like the Fundacja Polskich Kolei Waskotorowych (Polish Narrow Gauge Railway Association). Partnering with an existing Polish organisation makes sense – the Polish organisation knows its way round Polish bureaucracy and also knows how much goods and services should really cost in Poland.

The next stage would be to prepare a business plan and then persuade the local authority that they have the skills and resources to implement it. The final step would be to negotiate the details of the operating licence. Realistically, if you don’t have a minimum of £100,000 to invest, then its unlikely that your offer would be successful. Serious enquiries to: railfan(at)go2.pl

NKD route map (lines coloured red are closed)

 

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10 Responses to “Railway To Let”

  1. Robert Hall Says:

    It gets a bit hard to avoid the uneasy feeling that SKPL’s narrow-gauge outposts are falling one by one: Krosniewice in March this year, Naleczow at the end of this year — which looks like leaving “four, and counting”… Like most of us, I don’t have — more’s the pity — the £100,000-plus, with which the NKD might be rescued…

  2. dyspozytor Says:

    SKPL is certainly rationalising its operations, but that’s not a bad thing. Given SKPL’s centralised management, certain railways are just to far away to be managed effectively from SKPL’s HQ in Zbiersk Cukrownia, near Kalisz.

    SKPL’s ‘bridge too far railways’ are:

    Mlawa – handed back to the Krasne Parish Council in 2007
    Naleczow – to be handed back to Opole Lubelskie District Council
    Przeworsk – to be handed back to Przeworsk District Council?

    I’m not worried about Mlawa, a consortium of local councils has been set up to manage the line, and new operator has been appointed.

    Neither am I too concerned about Naleczow, the FPKW will probably take it over. But they are stretched financially by their existing projects: Rogow Railway and Pionki Forest Railway. And the Naleczow Railway has MASSIVE potential, but needs a little investment, particularly in selling itself to the tourists in Kazimierz Dolny.

    More worrying is Przeworsk, ideally it should be taken over by the Bieszczady Railway, but although Bieszczady is profitable it’s not that profitable and its extension has cost them a lot more than they budgeted for.

    Krosniewice is in a different category. The freight workings made this SKPL’s most profitable line. In fact SKPL had to PAY money to the local council. It is a reasonable drive away from SKPL’s HQ and there was a contract to carry 250,000 tonne of stone for the having. The closure of the line is a deliberate ploy by the Mayor of Krosniewice who wants to demolish the workshops and redevelop the railway land. Currently there is a stalemate, but with a little more push from BTWT readers there is a good chance of getting the line opened again.

  3. Robert Hall Says:

    Thanks for this. Highly interested in info concerning Mlawa system: what you mention re it, sounds a good deal more positive than I had imagined. My impression — thankfully wrong, it would seem — is that this system (relinquished, as you say, by SKPL) was, essentially, defunct: had seen a very few workings in 2006, and nothing since. Furthermore, I had read about a year ago, that building(s) had been erected (by implication, illegally) actually blocking the line’s track in Mlawa, thus effectively making operation impossible. Glad that this line may seemingly have a future after all.

  4. dyspozytor Says:

    I’ve just checked with the chairman of the Krasne Parish Council and he told me that the Mlawa Railway has excellent prospects. As I understand it, Krasne will remain the ‘owner’ and the consortium of local councils will be responsible for operating the railway directly. He told me that they will be operating a tourist service this summer and acquiring a small 0-4-0 diesel.

    I think the (illegal) building (a car park) over the railway track to which you refer is at Sompolno. There was once a proposal by L G Electronics to build a new factory on the n.g. railway land at Mlawa station, at the same time the SKPL staff trying to run the freight trains on the railway were being harassed by a particularly nasty man working in the public prosecutors office in Mlawa. I’m not saying that the two were connected, but after I wrote a very polite letter to the L G Electronics country manager for Poland, and copied the chairman of the parent company, the problem did seem to go away.

    Anyway, I’m focussing on Krosniewice at the moment. By the way have you written a letter to the Mayor yet?

  5. Robert Hall Says:

    Have done so, with copy to Infrastructure Minister, July 26th. The info which I thought I had about Mlawa, came from the German magazine “Lok Report”, Aug. 2007 issue. My German is by no means perfect; but I’m sure I understand rightly, the text from that item — claims that “building(s) have been erected on a rail / road intersection [ one tends to infer from the context, level crossing, though that not spelt out] in Mlawa town, thus breaking / interrupting the rail route. No rail movements are known to have taken place since this was done.” That’s just what “Lok Report” said –they’d maybe got things wrong.

  6. dyspozytor Says:

    Thanks for helping with the campaign. By the way the Mayor of Krosniewice is not acknowledging any of the letters that have been sent to her, this is another thing that we will be pointing out when we talk with the Minister.

    Regarding Mlawa, there has long been a campaign by certain people to move the terminus of the railway to the East of the E77 level crossing and to release the land in Mlawa town for redevelopment, but I thought that we had won that particular battle.

    I’ll make some more enquiries when people get back to their desks on Monday.

  7. dyspozytor Says:

    I did check with the chairman of Krasne Council, the ‘owners’ of the line. He assures me that nothing has been built on the railway line at Mlawa.

  8. Robert Hall Says:

    Thanks. It’s far from unknown for “Lok Report” to get the wrong end of the stick…

  9. Peter Wilhelm Says:

    In LOK Report 8/2007 I wrote nothing about a building erection on the rail but about a interruption of the line due to repair works at the intersection with a road near Mlawa. As I remember there was also a photo of these works in one of the Swiat Kolej magazines.
    I think you got a wrong translation…

  10. Robert Hall Says:

    My school / university German language studies were less diligent than they might have been, and a very long time ago. As regards any text in a German publication, mistranslation / misunderstanding on my part is therefore far more likely, than the German source having things wrong. Thus, my last comment was out of order: apologies, accordingly.

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