Archive for May 4th, 2010

PKP EC IC disgrace

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Passengers in the PKP IC EuroCity train from Villach to Warsaw.
Photo Alert24.pl

(Click on the thumbnail to read the original article (in Polsh) on Alert24.pl.)

Nothing illustrates better the disease that has gripped Poland’s railways than the story published yesterday on Alert24.pl about the experiences of travellers from Austria to Poland on board the Polonia EuroCity express. The train was packed full of returning Poles as well as visitors to Poland. Just before the Czech Republic – Poland border, two carriages were detached and passengers continued their nightmare journey packed tight like sardines, many standing in the corridor or sitting on the floor. Faces with complaints from angry passengers, the guard told them that they should have travelled by car!

Vandalised PKP IC coach compartment. Photo Pawcio.

(Click image to see more pictures of the devastated carriages on the infokolej.pl discussion forum.)

Meanwhile a contributor to the infokolej.pl discussion forum reports that many PKP IC carriages – including those that shows signs of recent repairs – have been dumped in a siding in Cracow where they are being stripped by vandals and scrap thieves.

Why are these carriages rotting in sidings rather than running in trains? PKP IC like Przewozy Regionalne is in financial difficulties. Track access charges are calculated on the basis of distance travelled and the number of axles in a train. Shorter trains mean lower charges…

A hat tip to Podroznik for both stories.

The begining of the end for Interegio?

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

48 trains stopped by PKP PLK!

Passengers aboard a Warsaw – Cracow InterREGIO train.
Photo Karol Trammer.

(Click on image to go to InterREGIO fan photo page on Facebook.)

48 of Przewozy Regionalne’s long-distance InterREGIO trains did not run today follow a decree by Polish State Railways infrastructure subsidiary, PKP PLK. The state owned track company is demanding the payment of outstanding track access charges by Przewozy Regionalne, which is owned by the 16 Polish provinces. The long-distance InterREGIO trains offer a cheap and cheerful rail alternative to long distances buses. They are very popular with many people such as students and pensioners who cannot afford the high charges levied by PKP InterCity. PKP IC, which gears its trains and prices to the needs of business travellers, seems to regard PR’s InterREGIO trains as competition and has long been lobbying for their abolition. Rail Minister, Julius Engelhardt has said that he has no plans to become involved at this stage of the dispute.

A list of the cancelled trains can be accessed by following the link below:

Glimpsed at the Wosztyn Gala II

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Wolsztyn Shed, 11.00 hrs. 1.5.2005. Photo BTWT.

(Click to enlarge.)

Two hours or so before the parade. Not a fluorescent jacket or plastic barrier tape to be seen. (They were there, but only where needed to prevent the public from straying over the main line tracks.) Do you remember when shed open days in Britain were like this?

Chabowka Tkt48-91 undergoes some last minute repairs to its air compressor on the Wolsztyn turntable. Photo BTWT.

(Click to enlarge.)

A couple admire PKP 2-8-0 TR5-65, formerly German Railways Br 56.2–8, originally built as a 0-8-0 by Orenstein & Koppel. Photo BTWT.

(Click to enlarge.)

Tr5-65 had its boiler certificate specially extended so that it could attend this year’s Wolsztyn Steam Gala. The photograph also shows how the Wolsztyn turntable was extended to accommodate longer locomotives.

Pm36-2 departs the shed to take up its position before the parade.
Photo BTWT.

(Click to enlarge.)

242.001, a streamlined 4-4-4T light express locomotive visiting Wolsztyn courtesy MAV Noztalgia. Photo BTWT.

(Click to enlarge.)

Only four of these 4-4-4Ts were built between 1936-40, by MÁVAG in Budapest. One of them reached 161 km/h on a test run, the speed record for Hungarian steam engines. They used to haul the Baltic-Orient express trains double-headed between Budapest and the Romanian border.

Wolsztyn based, Pt47-65. Photo BTWT.

(Click to enlarge.)

The Wolsztyn Steam Gala is the biggest such event in Poland. Although this year the morning rain damped down attendance, some 15,000 people are estimated to have attended the event. The Wolsztyn Gala plays a major role in spreading the word about steam locomotives and railway heritage in a country where many people regard such matters as embarrassing hand-me-downs from the communist era.