Steam services from Wolsztyn have been suspended following a collision between a lorry and Ol49-69. The collision, which took place on 11 September, caused some damage to the locomotive, including bent motion. The lorry suffered serious damage, with most of the cab destroyed. The lorry driver was lucky to escape with his life, with parts of the cab attaching themselves firmly to the locomotive.
Ol49-69with the remains of the lorry’s door firmly attached to the loco’s cab. Photo James Shuttleworth.
Whilst the loco was out of traffic for a couple of days whilst repairs were effected at Wolsztyn, it has since returned to service.
The reason for the disruption to the service this time, was not due to the unavailability of a loco or crew, but down to the the cold snap that seems to have caught everyone unawares. The only suitable steam-heated coaches which Koleje Wielkopolskie had available were involved in the collision. These still require repair, with their steps being ripped off in the force of the collision. (The Poznan-Wolsztyn services are run by Koleje Wielkopolskie, with the locos and their crews being provided by PKP Cargo, and the coaches leased from Przewozy Regionalne!)
With temperatures dropping as low as 3C at night at present, and with no other steam heated coaches available, PKP has taken the step of substituting a diesel railcar until suitable coaches are in service. It is understood that steam services will return as from today’s (Thursday 27 September) afternoon working.
We understand from a senior railway source, who wishes to remain anonymous, that yesterday PKP Cargo signed an agreement for the purchase of 10 passenger coaches, suitable for steam haulage, from Czech Railways at a very good price. The second class coaches are destined for the Poznan-Wolsztyn service; the first class coaches are expected to see duty on various steam specials.