Autumn at Jedrzejow

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Flat wagon loaded with bridge timbers at Jedrzejow, 10 October 2010.
Photo BTWT
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(Click any of the images accompanying today’s post to see a larger version.)

I love narrow gauge freight operations and was delighted to find this flat wagon loaded with bridge timbers in the yard at Jedrzejow station. Part of the line runs on a long viaduct across a marsh.

Open wagon at Jedrzejow, 10 October 2010.
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It has been a long time since this open wagon carried its last load of sugar beet, but it is still maintained in operating condition for photographic charters.

Passenger stock at Jedrzejow, 10 October 2010.
Photo BTWT

The passenger stock is maintained in tip-top condition. Unfortunately the Swietokrzyska Kolejka Dojazdowa like other Polish narrow gauge railways has no covered accommodation for its rolling stock.

Px48-1724 in its shed Jedrzejow, 10 October 2010.
Photo BTWT
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Although this was my third or fourth trip to Jedrzejow Px48-1724 had always eluded me, so it was a pleasant surprise when I was approached by a member of the operating team and asked whether I wanted to see the railway’s steam locomotive. Px48-1724 was buit in 1950 and after serving on various Polish narrow gauge railways ended up in a scrap siding at Opalenica as a donor of spares for the line’s other steam locomotives. From here it was rescued by a team of railwaymen from Jedrzejow and restored to working order in 1993.

Konrad Borowiecki at Jedrzejow, 10 October 2010.
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My guide turned out to be Konrad Borowiecki, one of the five men who keep the line running. Konrad’s service on the line dates back to PKP days. He spoke wistfully of the days when the line was part of a 716 km network and employed over 1,000 staff. He remembered how PKP planned to move the locomotive to Sroda Wielkopolska. Local residents joined railwaymen in organising a demonstration and the engine stayed at Jedrzejow.

Konrad spoke bitterly about the lack of support the line was receiving from the various local authorities who own segments of the line. At Pinczow one of the most picturesque sections of line running into a forest had just been lifted. He also mentioned the lack of recognition given generally to Poland’s narrow gauge railways. He also lamented the fate of the erstwhile Piotrkow narrow gauge railway’s two Lzd2 diesel locomotives. The engines – though missing radiators – had been kept in their shed at Piotrkow Trybunalski and were basically in working order. A few months ago they were sold for scrap.

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One Response to “Autumn at Jedrzejow”

  1. Robert Hall Says:

    The Jedrzejow lines – at their peak a wonderful system, Poland’s second – biggest narrow-gauge network, taking second place only to the Kujawy Railways; and – with all due respect to the Kujawy – with more exciting scenery.

    Sadly, I never visited the system when it was operating ‘for real’. The old story – the lines went virtually all-diesel at a quite early date. Also, they lost most of their regular passenger services fairly early on – and those that survived were sparse and at nightmare hours. Nonetheless, to have ‘done ‘the whole system would have been a great achievement and wonderful experience.

    My only experience of these lines, was a few months ago, on the summer Sundays-only Jedrzejow – Pinczow and return, tourist train. A delightful day out, although I had a strong feeling that the line was facing fearful odds.

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