Polish autumn, Smigiel Railway 8 November 2008.
Photo by Fukacz
Click to see photo in higher resolution on world rail photo website.
It started as an idea of Howard Jones to run an extensive service of steam trains on the Smigiel Railway on 8 November, the last day of this year’s steam services. SKPL, the line’s operator, thought that this would be an excellent opportunity to gain some publicity and to cement relations with the local community and Smigiel Council. Posters were printed. A prize draw was organised. Discreet phone calls were made and official invitations sent out to council members.
The result exceeded everyone’s expectations. The trains which ran from 07:00 to 21:00 hrs were all packed. Over 400 draw tickets were sold. The whole council turned ouit in all their splendour. The deputy mayor handed over the winning prize.
For a very modest expenditure to cover the publicity costs SKPL gained itself a few extra brownie points and the railway achieved a much higher profile in the eyes of the local council. SKPL is now rethinking its PR strategy for its other railways. Congratulations to Howard Jones of Wolsztyn Experience and Tomasz Strapagiel of SKPL for their initiative and to Marek Ciesielski and Lidia Kreuschner for actually making things happen on the ground.
I would have liked to have posted a picture of the crowds at Smigiel listening to the speeches by the VIPs, but unfortunately all that I have been able to find are some more picture of PX48-1919 taken on the day.