Line clear for steam trains throughout 2009?
Ol49-69 2-6-2, January 2009. Photo © Wojciech Lis
(Click to see gallery of Parowozy z Wolsztyna January 2009 photographs.)
Wojciech Lis runs the excellent Parowozy z Wolsztyna website, from which the above picture is taken. Yesterday, he published a link to a Poznan Radio Mercury interview during which Stanislaw Taciak, Manager of the Railway Transport Section of the Transport Department in the Wielkopolska’s Govenor’s Office, announced that funds had been found to support the Wolsztyn-Poznan steam service all the year round.
BTWT immediately contacted its man at Wolsztyn Experience who exclaimed, That’s the first that I’ve heard of it! Our source then consulted Howard Jones and provided us with this on-the-record quote from Howard.
If that’s the case then it’s good news. But we also have to be realists as far as the economics are concerned. What killed us last year, was not the 6 week break in July and August that we always have, but the 3 month June-July-August break that we were suddenly confronted with without any warning. Wolsztyn Experience had clients booked in June that had booked footplate courses and we had to invest heavily in paying for special trains and light engine movements in order to meet our obligations.
It would make sense in the late July-August period to suspend the Poznan service and run just one train from Wolsztyn to Leszno. This would take into account the need to give crew their summer holiday break and to carry out maintenance on the Ol49s. A Leszno train could service holiday destinations, like the lake at Boskowo, and would give an opportunity for recently overhauled Pt47-65 to stretch its legs. (Pt 47s cannot run to Poznan because of a weak bridge.)
After so much doom and gloom in 2008 about the continuation of Wolsztyn’s steam trains, BTWT is delighted to be publishing some good news at last. It does seem to us a pity though that whoever is making these decisions in the Governor’s office does not see fit to include The Wolsztyn Experience in the loop.