Archive for August 24th, 2010

Campaign to save Gniezno shed gathers steam

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Pt47-112 outside one of the Gniezno roundhouses on 11 April 2007
Photo ©Marek Ciesielski

(Click image to enlarge)

Last June, we reported on PKP’s plans to destroy the two historic Prussian roundhouses at Gniezno and to level the site so that developers could build a shopping mall and office complex. Now a group of local residents is campaigning hard to save the buildings with a view to creating the Wielkopolska Railway, Technology and Culture Park on the site. BTWT has been asked to help and we are delighted to give our support to the campaign. A petition is being organised by Robert Gawel, one of the members of Gniezno City Council and signatures are being collected by volunteers . There will also be opportunities to sign the petition during the coming weekend at the Parowozjada steam gala at Chabowka.

The City of Gniezno has a history which goes back to the beginnings of Poland and the historic railway complex is an important part of Poland’s railway heritage. The site would be ideal not just as a railway and technology park for Wielkopolska, but would also be an excellent location for a Polish national railway museum complete with workshop facilities on the lines of Britain’s National Railway Museum in York. What better site to house some of the Warsaw museum engines and the other historic rolling stock? Since the abandonment of PKP’s regional skansens the majority of Poland’s steam engines, passenger coaches and goods vehicles are  in a scandalous state. There is as yet no plan to provide covered accommodation for Poland’s fast decaying decaying national collection. Gniezno could solve the problem at a stroke.

Veteran BTWT readers will know that it is a campaigning blog and that from time to time I ask our readers to put pen to paper in support of our campaigns. A letter sent from an overseas address seems to have 10 times the influence of a letter posted in Poland. So if you would like to see Parowozownia Gniezno becoming a ‘working museum’ looking after Poland’s historic rolling stock, please write to all three of the people whose addresses appear below. Letters are much more influential than e-mails. Do not worry about writing them in English! Please write to:

The Chairman and CEO Polskie Koleje Panstwowe S.A

Pan Andrzej Wach
Polskie Koleje Panstwowe S.A.
ul. Szczesliwicka 62
00-973 Warszawa

The Chief Executive of Wielkopolska Province

Pan Marek Wozniak
Urzad Marszalkowski Wojewodztwa Wielkopolskiego
al. Niepodległości 18
budynek C
61-713 Poznan

The Mayor of the City of Gniezno

Pan Jacek Kowalski, Prezydent Miasta Gniezna
Urząd Miejski
ul. Lecha 6
62-200 Gniezno

Cathedral of Steam, 23 May 2009
Photo ©Marek Ciesielski

(Click image to enlarge)

My special thanks to Marek Ciesielski for digging into his archives and providing – at very short notice – these magnificent photographs of Gniezno shed.