Going, going, gone…


Passenger train on Nasielsk – Pultusk narrow gauge railway in 1978. Note freshly relaid track. Photo ©Klaus Meschede.

(Click above to see the original on the Polen 1978: Schmalspurbahn Nasielsk – Pultusk thread on the Drehscheibe Online discussion forum.)

It is a continuing source of amazement to me as to how much of the Polish narrow gauge survived into the 1980s and 1990s. There was a big cull in the 1990s, and PKP finally dumped all its surviving narrow gauge railways in 2001. In Britain by 1990 the railway preservation movement had attained respectability, and local authorities began to offer practical support and encouragement to their  preserved railways. In Poland, the tide of official indifference and hostility is only now beginning to turn. Sadly, in the intervening years so much of value was lost…

The Drehscheibe Online discussion forum has become a valuable repository of photographs illustrating the work of German railway enthusiasts documenting the changing railway scene not only in their own country, but also in Poland. One member of the forum, under the username Borsig0310, has posted a series of photographs taken in Poland in 1978. The Nasielsk – Pultusk photographs (which can all be seen by clicking the heading photograph) carry a special poignancy. Some 3 – 4 years ago I helped organise a meeting in Pultusk Castle with all local authorities along the line in a last-bid attempt to save the line, but alas to no avail.

Two other sets of photographs posted by Barsig0310 also taken in 1978 cover a trip to Pyskowice, Chabowka – Nowy Sacz line, and Jaslo, and also steam at Legnica, Wroclaw, Strzelin/Strehlen, Ziebice, Otmuchow, and Raclawice. All of the photographs are credited to Klaus Meschede. I would dearly like to establish contact with Borsig0310 and Klaus Meschede, but having no German the task is next to impossible. If any BTWT reader could help, please write to me at the usual address: railfan [at] go2 [dot] pl.

A final treat, three pictures by Bremerbahn were posted on the Drehscheibe Online in 2007. They illustrate standard gauge steam at Plott, Sczecin Glowny and near Golczewo. The photograph of a standard gauge Ol49 crossing a metre gauge Px48 taken near Golczewo carries special memories. I caged a cab ride on the Stepnica – Golczewo section in 1974. Though little older than a schoolboy at the time, this was the first railway in Poland that I tried to sell to the powers that be as a potential tourist attraction. Unfortunately, as far as the Stepnica – Golczewo – Gryfice section was concerned, I failed miserably!


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