Heard behind the water tower


Ol49-69 at Wolsztyn on 6.8.2012. Photo BTWT.

(Click image to enlarge.)

The Sroda Narrow Gauge railway is fighting for its life. Both the Mayor of Sroda Wielkopolska (where the line starts) and the Chief Executive of Sroda District Council (who own the line) favour turning the bulk of the 14 km railway into a cycle path. and keeping just a stub of the line at Sroda as part of a ‘Wild West’ theme park.

The Smigiel Narrow Gauge Railway has cancelled the trains planned for August. No explanation appears on the railway’s website. Apparently during a recent meeting, the deputy Mayor of Smigiel announced that the Town Council have ‘no interest’ in developing the line as a tourist attraction.

The team of bankers that have been injected into PKP SA and its daughter companies have vetoed the plan to move the heavy maintenance of Wolsztyn-based steam locomotives to Chabowka. Meanwhile Leszno overhauled Ol49-69 (the boilerwork was done at Interlok in Pila) is acquiring a good reputation amongst Wolsztyn drivers for its powerful and reliable performance.

Many thanks to BTWT’s dedicated team of informers who keep their ears to the ground!

One Response to “Heard behind the water tower”

  1. John Savery Says:

    The support that the local councils give their narrow gauge railways is poor. The decline of the Smigiel Railway has been well documented on these pages and elsewhere, and it seems the stance is being repeated at Sroda. Whilst I can part understand the council’s position on not having money for infrastructure repairs, their ticket pricing seems bargain basement, and they seem more content with using a lack of finance as a justification for looking at closure rather than exploring revenue generating options, or even grants.

    I was supposed to travel on the Sroda line in late April, on a chartered train, however this changed to Gniezno when it became apparent, through my contacts, that the railway did not seem to want to charter a train. Turning down paying customers hardly generates the revenue needed to pay for the repairs.

    Ol49-69 has been overhauled to a high standard. It is like the proverbial sewing machine. Leszno don’t always do boilers well, or to time, but have done a good job on the bottom end of the loco. Fortunately, the loco boiler has been done at Pila, and they have made a good job of it.

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