Wolsztyn’s Tr5-65 and six wheel vintage coach in Poznan.
Photo Robert Dylewski, Fundacja Era Parowozow.
(Click to go to Fundacja Era Parowozow website.)
Some 40 years since I first started badgering the authorities that much of Poland’s railway technology has priceless heritage value and that promoted wisely it could be a major tourist attraction, finally, at last, one of Poland’s regional tourist organisations has started actively promoting its heritage railways and museums. The Wielkopolska Organizacja Turystyczna (Wielkopolska Tourist Organisation) has published a very nice 20 page booklet about the region’s heritage railways and museums.
The booklet is very informative and covers everything you might want to know from where and how to hire a hand-propelled platelayers’ truck to where to go to book a steam special for the your next company do. It is full of practical information and includes basic contact details such as telephone numbers and e-mail addresses. Unusually in a Polish guide, for many of the organisations listed there is actually the name of a contact person. The English text is in English, not Polinglish, and even the Talyllyn Railway, which is not in Wielkopolska, but in North Wales, manages to get a mention.
The guide was launched at TOUR SALON 2008, an annual exhibition to promote the attractions of the Poznan region. PKP Cargo brought along Wolsztyn’s 2-8-0 freight locomotive TR5-65 and kept the engine in steam throughout the exhibition. At last some people in Poland are beginning to realise that stuffed dead locomotives do not compare with living and breathing steam engines. It’s just a pity that so much of Wielkoposka’s railway heritage has been destroyed over the last 40 years.
I particularly mourn the passing of:
- Wielechowo-Rakonowice section of the Smigiel Railway;
- The Opalenica – Nowy Tomysl – Lwowek Railway;
- Most of the Kujawy Railways and sugar beet feeder lines;
- Most of the Sroda Wielkopolska Railway;
- Nearly all of the Wyrzysk Railway.
Let’s hope that by combining the good will of a few enlightened people and the lobbying power of Behind The Water Tower, there won’t be too many further casualties.
Railway heritage booklet
published by the Wielkopolska Tourist Organisation