Bieszczady buildings recommissioned

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Photo Report – BTWT visit to the Bieszczady Forest Railway, 20 Sept 2011

(All photos can be expanded by clicking on the image.)

The rebuilt station building at Majdan. Photo BTWT.

The Bieszczady Forest Railway is carrying out an ambitious programme of building restoration, passenger rolling stock refurbishment and track renewal assisted by funding from the EU. At Majdan the original station building and engine shed have been beautifully restored and a brand new toilet block constructed. The station building is almost 100% new. The original collapsed when its timber cladding – a later addition – was stripped away by builders.

The restored engine shed. Photo BTWT.

Asbestos has been replaced by galvanised steel on the roofs, and the engine shed has been insulated for the first time in its history. The railway management hope that this will make it possible to run trains during the January – February winter holiday season.

New and old semi-open coaches rebuilt from freight van chassis acquired from other narrow gauge railways. Photo BTWT.

LYd2-05 and LAS Tx 1884 outside Majdan shed. Photo BTWT.

Majdan loconotive shed had been formally recommissioned the day previous to our visit. LYd2 0-6-0Ds make up the line’s staple motive power. LAS 0-6-0T steam locomotives were employed when the Bieszczady Railway was rebuilt on new alignments during the 1950s. This example was previously plinthed and was restored by Zbyszek Tucholski and one of the railway’s original steam drivers.

LYd2-01 in Husqvarna livery. Photo BTWT.

Husqvarna sponsor the railway by providing equipment for cutting grass and line-side vegetation.

Platelayers’ trolley fitted out to carry passengers Photo BTWT.

When no trains are running, parties of 5 or more can hire this vehicle and run their own ‘special’.

Plaque stating that the station building had been restored with the help of EU funding. Photo BTWT.

The overall cost of the project is 1.76m PLN of which 0.69m PLN is coming from EU regional development funds, 0.12m from the government budget, and 0.63m PLN from the railway’s own funds. The high proportion of project costs that the Bieszczady Forest Railway Foundation has had to fund itself has put a big strain on the railway’s cash flow.

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4 Responses to “Bieszczady buildings recommissioned”

  1. Ed Beale Says:

    Were you able to find out why trains are only running to Balnica in the westward direction this year?

    For many years trains ran beyond Balnica to Wola Michowa (17km from Majdan), then in 2009 the railway was extended further west to Smolnik (21km from Majdan), the triangular junction, and public trains ran there. But this year they have been cut back and have only run on the 9km section to Balnica. There are not even prices on the website for hired trains beyond Balnica.

    • Dyspozytor Says:

      We were told that in the height of summer season there are more would-be passengers than available seats. By restricting west-bound trains to Balnica the railway was able to run more trains, satisfy more customers and increase its revenue!

  2. Geoff Jenkins Says:

    I don’t want to sound too pedantic but LYd 2 locomotives have an 0-6-0 rather than 0-8-0 wheel arrangement..

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