Koscierzyna Closure




The Skansen at Koscierzyna. Photo accommo.pl

(Click photo to go to a slideshow of the Koscierzyna Skansen on the accommo.pl website.)

In January, PKP Cargo closed down the railway museum in Koscierzyna and put its 7 employees there on ‘gardening leave’ with 2/3 pay and notice of redundancy. The Skansen contains some 35 items of rolling stock, including the unique Pu29-3, the longest steam locomotive ever built in Poland. In addition there are many smaller exhibits: historical records, drawings and models. A brief description and some photographs of the larger exhibits can be found here.

The Mayor of Koscierzyna has been negotiating with PKP with a view to the Town taking over responsibility for running the Skansen. This seems to be the best bet for safeguarding the future of the museum and its collection. However, in Poland the most straightforward of arrangements can become hopelessly complicated in execution. The rolling stock at Koscierzyna belongs mostly to PKP Cargo. (A few items belong to the national Railway Museum in Warsaw.) But the land that the museum is situated on is administered by PKP’s estate company, PKP Nieruchomosci. The latter can be notoriously difficult when it comes to giving anything away and are  trying to negotiate a deal whereby the Town will take over the railway land in lieu of unpaid taxes. Such negotiations take time. The President of Zdunska Wola has been waiting for 6 years to conclude negotiations regarding the transfer of the ‘forgotten’ railway museum at Karsnice.

The crisis at Koscierzyna has come about because, PKP Cargo has already closed the Skansen and is due to remove its security staff by Saturday! If no replacement security arrangements are put in place, the small exhibits will be destroyed by thieves and vandals on the first day that there are no security staff and it will not be many days after that before they start hacking bits of metal from the locomotives and rolling stock.

We urgently appeal to all BTWT readers and supporters to write to the Andrzej Wach, the President of the PKP Group, warning of the dreadful devastation that will occur at the Skansen unless he intervenes personally to ensure PKP continues to provide security cover at Koscierzyna Skansen until responsibility for security can be taken over by the Town Council. Your letter should be copied to Julian Engelhardt, the Under Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure responsible for Railways, and also to Marcin Modrzejewski, the Mayor of Koscierzyna. With so little time left we would recommend sending your letters to Andrzej Wach by fax if at all possible. Sadly e-mails and their enclosures are but rarely read in the offices of Polish state-owned organisations.

Letters should be sent by fax only to:

Mr Andrzej Wach
Prezes Zarzadu Dyrektor Generalny
Polskie Koleje Panstwowe S.A. Centrala
ul. Szczesliwicka 62
00-973 Warszawa

fax number 00 48 22 474 9020

A copy should be sent by fax or e-mail to:

Mr Juliusz Engelhardt
Podsekretarz Stanu
Ministerstwo Infrastruktuty
00-928 Warszawa
ul. Chalubinskiego 4/6

fax number 00 48 22 6301116
e-mail: info@mi.gov.pl

A second copy should be sent by fax or e-mail to:

Mr Marcin Modrzejewski
Burmistrz Miasta
Urzad Miasta Koscierzyna
ul. 3 Maja 9 A
83-400 Koscierzyna

fax number 00 48 58) 680-23-20
e-mail: modrzejewski@koscierzyna.gda.pl

2 Responses to “Koscierzyna Closure”

  1. John Ball Says:

    Worrying news – like the sad tale of the Vivarais Railway in France, we can’t assume that preservation equals security. We can only fax in sufficient numbers and hope that the authorities take note. Might help to mention tourist industry potential?


  2. Rik degruyter Says:

    I have sent a letter on behalf of Fedecrail. I sincerely hope there is a starting volunteer force over there. It is the only way to avoid payment of staff.

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