Poznan Urząd Miasta
A massive 25 hour translation job caused a severe disruption BTWT postings, but left me considerably wiser. An enormous amount of Polish life is still organised by the state. With local and national government present in so many ways, it is no small wonder that railway societies – genuine examples of bottom up initiatives in Polish civil society – find the going so rough.
The job involved translating a calendar of tourist recreational activities. I was surprised to discover that nearly all the listed events were funded or organised by local authorities in the form of urząd miasta (town administration office), urząd gminy (municipal administration office) or starostwo powiatowe (municipal administration office). Ocassionaly I was bowled a googly in the form of miejski urząd gminy (municipal administration town office). Does this municiplity have another office in the countryside for days when the weather is too nice to stay in town?
Sadly railway events were few and far between, but I did note down a few which BTWT readers might like to mark up in their own diaries.
1 -3 May – Wolsztyn Steam Gala
The Wolsztyn Steam Gala and the Parade of Steam Locomotives are a well established event in the Polish heritage railway calendar. This year the British-Polish Railway and Industrial Heritage Partnership are organising a week long study tour of the railway attractions of Wielkopolska during the week preceeding the gala. SKPL and the Wolsztyn Experience will be working steam hauled goods trains on the Kalisz Railway to coincide with the tour . Write to me for further details.
16/17 May – Long Night of the Museums
The Long Night takes place all over Poland. Entry to many Museums and other locations is free. Last year, Warsaw Urban Transport Company, MPK, and the Warsaw Suburban Railway, WKD, operared vintage tram services.
25 May – 13 July – 4th Wielkopolska Hand-propelled Platelayers’ Trolley Open Championship
This Open Championship is an event that I hadn’t heard of before. I was intrigued that it takes four different bodies to organise it:
Inter-municipal Tourist Association – ‘Wielkopolska Gościnna’
17 July ‘Blues Express’
The steam-hauled Blues Express takes enthusiasts to the Blues Festival in the picturesque village of Zakrzewo on the Piła – Chojnice line. The music starts on the departure platform at Poznan station and a second train runs from Gdynia. Amazingly the price of a ticket (19 PLN from Poznan and 22 PLN from Gdynia) is the same as for a PKP osobowy (slow) passenger train!
17 July ‘Helen’s Feastday’ (T.B.C.)
Beautiful Helen, Pm32-2, pacific express locomotive has its own feastday in August. The event is organised by the Wolsztyn Town Administration with help from the Wolsztyn Cultural Centre and PKP Cargo.
18-19 September National Light Railway Song Contest
The Song Contest is being held by the Wyrzysk District Light Railway, This surviving fragment of the once extensive public and private 600 mm lines in Wielkopolska deserves to be known much better by British enthusiasts.
There’s many more railway events occurring in 2009. I should really compile a comprehensive calendar, One of these days… !