No steam today

by

Awaiting repair or a source of spare parts? Unidentified Ol49 at Leszno, 17.09.2011. Photo BTWT.

(Click image to expand.)

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.

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5 Responses to “No steam today”

  1. Gavin Whitelaw Says:

    It is obvious that PKP Cargo do not give a toss about steam and only use it as a “jolly” for the bosses and for publicity (witness the PM36 jaunt to Warsawa last year) when it suits them and appear to view the continued need to actually run trains with locomotives that, to be frank are in deplorable condition, an inconvenience .

    If I were the one footing the bill for a service that I am not getting then i would be spitting blood!

    As I have said on numerous occasions I think Wolsztyn is on its last legs UNLESS some money is spent on the locomotives as the condition and availablility continue to worsen to a point where the service is barely tenable. I DO hope I am wrong, but I fear I am not.

  2. nanstallon Says:

    I’d feel a bit unhappy if this was the week I’d chosen for my visit to Poland. Is it possible to announce downtime some way in advance? I’m sure that many people book budget flights months ahead, and can’t change the dates.

  3. Alex Everts Says:

    The Unidentified Ol49 is the Ol49-23, probably this year recovered: http://www.thewolsztynexperience.org/portfolio.php

    I think it’s a good idea as the steam train will run between Wolsztyn and Jarocin. Then the locomotive does not run at full speed and smaller locomotives can be used such as the Tr5-65 or a Tkt48.

    Maybe they can also haul freight trains that would attract more tourists and photographers.

  4. Gavin Whitelaw Says:

    I don’t know where you are getting your information from Alex! Jarocin is not on the line to Poznan and neither of the locomotives you mention are available for traffic at Wolsztyn and in any case the Tkt48 would not have enough water capacity anyway to run to Poznan without watering somewhere and it cannot do that as there are no working facilities.

    Some people do not live in the real world when it comes to running steam and photographers do not pay the bills!

  5. Alex Everts Says:

    I meant that the train might be better to drive to Jarocin because the trains on the railway to Poznan run faster.

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