Awaiting repair or a source of spare parts? Unidentified Ol49 at Leszno, 17.09.2011. Photo BTWT.
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As from Monday (16 February) the Poznan – Wolsztyn steam turns are all diesel-hauled. On Sunday, Ol49-59 hauled the 05:22 from Wolsztyn to Poznan and then departed for its periodic overhaul. Already under repair at Leszno is Pm36-2 which is having a tender axle replaced. No further steam workings are envisaged this week.
Given the substantial funds that the Wielkopolska provincial government is providing to maintain Europe’s only scheduled main-line steam service is a matter of some surprise that the availability of steam traction hangs on such a slender thread. PKP Cargo seems not to realise the positive publicity value of a reliable regular steam service.
It is also a pity that each PKP Cargo region seems to operate as an autonomous empire and that at critical times the Poznan region cannot borrow locomotives from the Chabowka Skansen. Chabowka completed two heavy overhauls in 2011. Yet its in-ticket engines seem to spend most of their time hanging around waiting for something to do.
One foot in the grave? Ol49-111 at Leszno on 17.09.2011. Photo BTWT.