Loco to heaven or plain loco?

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Engine to heaven? The remains of Ty2-1035 being set up in Wroclaw. From a photo by Marcin TB.

(Click image to see this and other photos on the Wroclaw Amici website.)

When at the end of the 1980s PKP set up its regional ‘skansens’ – based around a number of working motive power depots – it seemed that the future of ‘Kriegslok’ 2-10-0 Ty2-1035 was secure. One of the ‘skansens’ was to be at Jaworzyna Slask and the locomotive had been shedded there since 1968. PKP gathered together several large collections of historic locomotives and rolling stock. The items intended for Jaworzyna included rolling stock that had reached Poland from places as far afield as France and Belgium and one of the two surviving ‘Liberation‘ 2-8-0s built by the Vulcan Foundary at Newton le Willows.

In 1991 Jaworzyna MPD closed. The collection found itself – on paper at least – under the protection of the Railway Museum in Warsaw. But such ‘protection’ was no guarantee of preservation. For twelve years the priceless exhibits were subject to vandalism, regular visits by scrap thieves and the action of the Polish weather. Finally, in 2003 PKP handed over the shed and its collection to the Jaworzyna Slask Town Council. In turn the local authority entered into an agreement with the Muzeum Przemyslu i Kolejnictwa na Slasku (The Slask Region Museum of Industry and Railways) which was to manage the museum and its exhibits.

However, PKP did not hand over all the exhibits. Some of the rolling stock – perhaps judged to be so far gone as to constitute an embarrassment – was pushed into a distant siding and forgotten. Some locomotives were also left behind. Was some PKP or Warsaw Museum official hoping for a lucrative private arrangement with a wealthy overseas buyer? One of the locomotives excluded from the deal was Ty2-1035. Its step-by-step devastation is well documented on Tomislaw Czarnecki’s excellent website Wciaz pod para.

Truly, PKP works in mysterious ways its wonders to perform. Ty2-1035 seemed destined for the oxy-acetylene torch to share the fate of locomotives recently scrapped in Scinawka Srednia, Kudowa Zdroj, Wolsztyn and elsewhere. But the Kriegslok’s fate was to be far worse. In the end the engine was not even accorded a decent burial. The locomotive was bought by developer Archicom, stripped of interior fittings such as boiler tubes and superheaters, and mounted on its hind quarters in Wroclaw’s plac Strzegomski as an ‘art installation’ entitled ‘engine to heaven’.

Just imagine the the explosion that would take place if a property developer tried the same trick with a 9F in the UK!

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