Wolsztyn – Poznan daily scheduled steam train, April 2010.
Photo Marek Ciesielski.
The future of the Wielkopolska’s daily scheduled steam service was in some doubt after Christopher Kaleta, a member of the provincial council, told a press conference today that, because of the planned track renewals between Wolsztyn and Poznan next year, steam services will be suspended on this route.
According to Councillor Kaleta, alternative arrangements have been made. Steam trains will be running instead on all the 115 non-working days in 2011 on the route Wolsztyn – Leszno – Poznan and Gniezno and return. The schedule envisages the train leaving Wolsztyn at 06:00 and arriving at Gniezno at 11:30. The return journey would start at 15:15 and arrive at Wolsztyn some 5½ hours later.
A number of Steam train of Wielkopolska specials are also planned to run on weekends in June and July 2011. The trips will run over some 350 km and could include itinaries such as Wolsztyn – Leszno – Jarocin – Gniezno – Poznan – Leszno – Wolsztyn.
Councillor Kaleta emphasized that the total distance travelled by steam trains in the coming year will amount to more than 118 thousand kilometres. For every kilometre the Wielkopolska provincial government will provide a subsidy of 30 PLN, which adds up to more than 3.5 million zł.
The arrangements set out by Councillor Kaleta seem a far cry from the promise made by Deputy Governor, Wojciech Jankowiak, as recently as March this year. We do not want another museum. These are many of these already. Only in Wolsztyn is it still possible every day without any fuss to get in a train pulled by a steam locomotive. This is our great asset which we will safeguard at any price.
How short is a couple of months in politics!