Ostatni wagon pocztowy (The last TPO) by Michal Bis
In our last post we featured Michal Bis’s film on the history of the EU-06s. Today we feature a second Bis rail documentary – arguably even better – about the last Polish Travelling Post Office (TPO).
The demise of the TPOs in England and Poland has the same root cause – the pro-road transport policy of successive governments of both countries where politicians are ‘helped’ to office by donations from companies whom such a policy benefits. Road haulage companies do not pay a fair share of their track costs – the damage caused by a wheel rolling along a road to the road is proportional to the fourth power of the axle weight, yet the road tax paid by road vehicles does not rise by the same ratio.
In England the increase in operating costs as a result of the fragmentation of the railway by privatisation dealt the death blow and the last TPO ran on 9 January 2004. One postal train (without sorting facilities) has been reintroduced on the West Coast mainline. In Poland the railway was fragmented (with an explosion of costs) before privatisation, TPOs were gradually withdrawn over the last 6 years or so and the last TPO of all ran on the night 28/29 May 2011 between Krakow Plaszow and Szczecin Glowny.
A bid by Manchester-based Robert Kotowski, in association with Stowarszyszenie Milosnikow Kolei w Jaworzynie Slaskiej, to save one of the TPO coaches has failed. All the surviving Pafawag 101C TPOs have been sold by Poczta Polska for scrap.
- Rynek Kolejowy – Wagony pocztowe idą na złom