Karsnice Skansen taken over by Zdunska Wola

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PKP hands over Skansen in return for unpaid local taxes

Sign of better times to come? The noticeboard at the entrance to the Karsnice Skansen. One of the ex Gubalowka cable railway coaches can just be seen peeping through the foliage in the background. Photo Marian Maroszek.

(Click above to see more pictures of the Karsnice Skansen on the blog Marian Maroszek – turystycznie…)

Good news for the ‘Forgotten Railway Museum’ at Karsnice. Kolejowa Oficina Wydawnica (The Railway Publishing House) reported on Monday that at long last negotiations between The Town and Municipal Authority of Zdunska Wola and the PKP Estates Department had concluded and that as a result the Authority had acquired a perpetual right to use the railway land, valued at 604,000 zloty (approx. £130,000), occupied by the Skansen. At the same time PKP transferred the ownership of locomotives and rolling stock worth, some 354,000 zloty (approx. £75,000).

The Skansen is the brainchild of one man, Marian Fijolek, the former General Manager of the locomotive repair works at Karsnice. Mr Fijolek set himself the task of collecting one example of every steam locomotive that ever worked on the Magistrala Weglowa (Coal Trunk Line) between Upper Silesia and Gdynia. Mr Fijolek also collected numerous small exhibits, a working model railway and a complete vintage train of ancient four wheel carriages. Other exhibits at Karsnice include a portable steam engine, a giant wheel lathe and the old coaches from the cable-hauled railway on Gubalowka in Zakopane. Sadly all the large exhibits, including the steam locomotives, but not the vintage coaches are – as is common in all Polish railway museums – stored outside in the open.

At its peak Mr Fiolek’s collection included 9 main line steam engines and3 small industrial steam engines. Sadly, during the protracted negotiations, some of the locomotives were sold by PKP and have gone elsewhere, while a number of locomotives are owned by Warsaw Railway Museum which reportedly wants them back! Nevertheless, the exhibits being handed over for safe keeping to the Town Council include 5 steam locomotives (including Ty 42-9, Ty 45-39, Ty 43-1), 3 diesels (SM 41-175, SM 30-39, SM 03-41) and one electric locomotive (ET 21-01).

Let’s hope that under the custody of the Council the decaying locomotives and rolling stock at Karsnice will be properly looked after and that the Skansen will be forgotten no longer.

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