by John Savery
Pt47-50 looking immaculate. Photo John Savery.
(Click on image to enlarge.)
Weather wise, it may have been a bit damp, cold and grey, but that did not stop us from getting out and about and seeing at first-hand what is happening down in Pyskowice. A drive over to the ‘skansen’ brought a meeting with TOZKiOS Vice Chairman, Krzystof Jakubina, and another member of the society who were in the shed to ensure everything was in good order.
In the gloom of the former wagon shed we spotted, amongst other locos, Pt47-50, and Tkp4422. No lights or power here, and until the dispute with PKP is resolved, that will remain the case. On a positive, at least some of the engines are undercover, protecting them from the harshness of the Polish winters. The Pt47 has been cosmetically restored, and looks resplendent in its black livery.
A large proportion of the collection is stored outdoors, susceptible to the Polish weather, and, at this time of year, too inhospitable to work on. Various locomotives are in various states of cosmetic restoration, with others still bearing the battle scars of the collapsed roof of the main shed.
The main yard area. Photo John Savery.
(Click on image to enlarge.)
It is very evident that finding a resolution to the current dispute with PKP is paramount. Until the tenure of the site is secured, no progress can be made on the infrastructure of the site. If you have not already written, I would again urge you to do so.
On a more positive note, Tuesday saw an off-site visit to see the current progress on the restoration of Ty42-24. This really does show what the Pyskowice team are capable of. Working in co-operation with a local firm with rail access, the society has been given the use of covered working facilities so that they can carry on with the restoration of the Kriegslok.
The boiler has been retubed, in line with Polish regulations. The firebox is in remarkably good condition, as the loco had very little use between its overhaul in 1989 and withdrawal from service in 1991. The official water pressure test is due to be carried out when the remaining parts for the loco have been fabricated. With work progressing on the manufacture and reassembly of a myriad of parts, the intention is to carry out the water pressure test no longer than two months before the steam test, and then to proceed to final reassembly.
It is questionable how long that final reassembly will take what with the limited resources that TOZKiOS has available and the distractions of the ongoing court case.
Additional reporting by Dyspozytor
Since John wrote this article, I have received a letter from Zbyszek and Krzysztof Jakubina, the chairman and vice chairman of TOZKiOS respecvtively. Here is a translation:
Many thanks for taking up the cause of Pyskowice. Recently we had a meeting in the provincial government offices in Katowice where we met with the Deputy Governor, Mr Piotr Spyra. He expressed a great deal of interest in the idea of setting up a permanent railway museum in Pyskowice and offered us his support. We would therefore ask that, as well as appealing to your readers to send letters about the museum to the PKP Chairperson, Maria Wasiak, or the Minister for Rail, Andrzej Massel, similarly worded letters are also sent to him. Follow the link here for his contact details.
The next urgent matter relates to TKt48-23. We have received a letter from the owners of the engine informing us that they would like to sell the loco and are even prepared to sell it to a scrap merchant. They are hoping to raise some 17,500 Euros from the sale. Unfortunately we cannot afford to buy the loco, much as we would like it to remain in Pyskowice. We do not have another TKt48 in our collection. We don’t know what to do. It will be difficult to find anyone prepared to spend so much money. Nevertheless if the loco is not bought and secured it could be sold and scrapped. This would seriously damage the reputation of the skansen. Maybe it might be possible to set up a a special fund for this loco and to launch an appeal among overseas fans of Polish steam locomotives? Have you any advice that you could give us regarding this unusual case?
Krzysiek and Zbyszek Jakubina
It is clear now that the situation at Pyskowice is very serious indeed and that the battle for the future of this amazing railway museum will need more fire power than can be mustered by BTWT acting on its own. To this end I am meeting two senior representatives of the European railway heritage movement tomorrow to ask for their support and advice as to how to proceed.