by Ed Beale
Just pick up the snowplough and run it up and down the mainline. 26 January 2012 – Getting the Bieszczady Forest Railway ready for the next day’s Winter Holiday train service. Video by RomekSolnicki.
For the first time in many years, several Polish narrow gauge railways are running winter tourist trains for passengers to enjoy the snowy scenery, and they have proved a great success. In PKP days trains most lines ran trains all-year-round whatever the weather, but since PKP shed its remaining n.g. lines in 2001, the only trains during winter have usually been “Santa specials” operated by some lines in December.
Despite the extremely cold and snowy winter this year all the trains have run more or less as planned, and old snowploughs have been brought back into use again doing a fine job of clearing the snow, especially in the Bieszczady mountains where there has been a large fall of snow this winter.
Polish school children have a two week winter holiday, the Ferijie Zimowe. The exact dates vary from region to region but all fall within the period 16 January to 26 February. During this period the Bieszczady Forest Railway in south east Poland is running a tourist train each Friday and Saturday, amazingly using open sided coaches usually known as letniaki (summer coaches!).
Winter Holiday train on the Bieszczady forest railway on 27 January. Video by RomekSolnicki.
The video above shows one of these trains from Majdan to Dolzyca and looks well used, with the open sided coaches clearly popular with photographers and video-makers! The cameraman is having a problem keeping his camera steady when the train is running – a common problem on most of the Polish n.g. lines!
Zulawy narrow gauge railway special, 28.01.2011. Photo bxi.pxd.pl.
(Click on the image to see the rest of the photos of the 28 January special.)
The Zulawy narrow gauge railway, which runs from Nowy Dwor Gdanski to the Baltic sea coast, ran a winter special on 28 January which reached Stegna and turned on the triangle there before returning to Nowy Dwor, on a superbly clear and icy winter day.
The Rogow narrow gauge railway likes to do things the correct way. Here the guard fine tunes the heating system on a 1aw coach. Photo FPKW.
(Click on the image to see a the rest of the photographs of the winter holiday train that ran on 5th Febuary.)
The Rogow narrow gauge railway east of Lodz offered their first winter train on Sunday 5 February, using a Lyd1 locomotive, Polish 1Aw coach fitted with a traditional coal-fired stove for heating, and brake van. It ran from Rogow to Jezow where sausages were cooked for lunch over a bonfire. Such was the demand for the train that it was totally sold out and an additional train will run this Sunday, 12 February.
- Video – Snowplough on the Bieszczady Railway – part 2
- Video – Snowplough on the Bieszczady Railway – part 3
- Video – Snowplough on the Bieszczady Railway – part 4