Alarm bells at Bialosliwa

by

Children’s Day train on the Wyrzysk Narrow Gauge Railway in May 2009.
Photo Twoje 7 dni.

(Click picture to see original on the Twoje 7 dni website.)

The Wyrzysk Narrow Gauge Railway is the largest surviving fragment of a great 600 mm gauge network which, in the 1950s, encompassed 256 route kilometres and was known as the Bydgosko Wyrzyskie Koleje Dojazdowe (The Bydgoszcz and Wyrzysk Local Railways). In addition to the 30 km of track which commences at Bialosliwie, an isolated 5 km of the line survives at Mochle, as do the station sidings at Trzeciewnica. Some of the line’s track and rolling stock was used to create the Myslecinek Park Railway in Bydgoszcz. Many of the steam engines that once worked the line survive… but now work in places as far away as Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The survival of the Wyrzysk Narrow Gauge Railway owes much to the efforts of the Towarzystwo Wyrzyska Kolej Powiatowa (The Wyrzysk District Railway Society). The TWKP are a volunteer-run association who have heroically battled over the last 10 years to ensure the preservation of at least a fragment of line. Today, having invested an enormous amount of their own time and money in restoring track and rolling stock, the Society acts as the line’s operator, but without any kind of long-term agreement from the Pila District Council who after some 7 years of negotiations are just completing the formalities of taking over the freehold of the line from PKP.

The conclusion of the takeover formalities should be a cause for rejoicing all round, were it not for two matters which give rise to suspicion. First of all Tomasz Bugajski, the Chief Executive of Pila District Council, has insisted on taking over the line without the customary condition being imposed that the line must subsequently be used for transport purposes, secondly he is now insisting on holding a tender to choose the line’s future operator. Cynics may wonder whether Starosta Bugajski has other plans for parts of the railway land and is looking for a company that will sell most of the track for scrap and establish a funfair style park railway on only a short section of route. Piotr Rogadzinski, the TWKP chairman, has called for an urgent meeting with District Council officers to try to obtain clarification of the Council’s intentions.

BTWT readers wishing to emphasise the importance of ensuring the integrity of the whole of the Wyrzysk District Railway land, the key role played by volunteer-assisted organisations in preserving and running heritage railways and the important role such lines can play in developing the local tourist industry, might like to write appropriate letters. As the Deputy Chief Executive of Pila District Council is currently preparing plans for the long-term future of the railway it would probably be a good idea to write to him and the Chairman of Pila District Council as well as the Mr Bugajski. The appropriate addresses are as follows:

The Chief Executive of Pila District Council:

Tomasz Bugajski
Starosta Pilski
al. Niepodleglosci 33/35
64-920 Pila
POLAND

tel: + 48 67 210 93 00
email: starosta@powiat.pila.pl

The Deputy Chief Executive of Pila District Council:

Jan Marek Pikulik
Wicestarosta Pilski
al. Niepodleglosci 33/35
64-920 Pila
POLAND

tel: +48 67 210 93 51
email: wicestarosta@powiat.pila.pl

The Chairman of Pila District Council:

Miroslaw Mantaj
Przewodniczacy Rady Powiatu:
al. Niepodleglosci 33/35
64-920 Pila
POLAND

tel. 067 210 93 10
tel. 067 210 93 11
email: przewodniczacy.rady@powiat.pila.pl

The erstwhile Bydgoszcz and Wyrzysk Local Railways probably deserve a full-length feature article in the pages of BTWT. Any volunteers?

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One Response to “Alarm bells at Bialosliwa”

  1. Radek Says:

    Zapraszamy na http://www.wkp600mm.fora.pl WYRZYSKA KOLEJKA POWIATOWA.

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