Spies of Warsaw



David Tennant as Jean-Francois Mercier, 1944 built Ty2-911 as …? Publicity still.

(Click on image to see original on david-tennant.org.)

The BBC and TVP have recently aired the film “Spies of Warsaw”.

Set in late 1930’s Warsaw, the film follows the exploits of a French spy, and his associates, amid the political manuvering in the build up to WWII.  Starring David Tennant (of Dr Who fame), the film was made with some scenes shot in Poland.

Purists will note that the railway scenes feature Chabowka’s Ty2-911, an engine not built until 1944.  The only appearance of a historically accurate locomotive is the scene showing OKz32-2 which is under overhaul in the works at Chabowka (with Ty2-953 seen in close proximity.)  Nevertheless, the railway scenes do feature some great shots of the Chabowka – Mszana Dolna – Nowy Sacz line, which formed part of the Galicyjska Kolej Transwersalna (Galician Transverse Railway).

The shots also include the platform at the Chabowka skansen (look out for Ol49-44  making a guest appearance at the end of the platform), and the station at Kasina Wielka.

The line itself has featured in film several times, notably in the opening scenes of Schindler’s List.  With glorious mountain views, and steep gradients, its clear why film makers use the line, as well as its proximity to Chabowka.

But wait, if film makers can see the benefit in the line, why can’t PKP?  With minimal services over it, and minimal use of the in-ticket engines at Chabowka, you would think that it would be the ideal place for tourist trips.  PKP Cargo seem unable to realise this, and for years have failed to market the line, which is closed to passenger and freight services, and clings to life by a thread.

Chabowka is a wasted asset.  A capable workshop and boiler facility with assets that are under utilised, and exhibits that rust outside in the Polish weather.  It should be a tourist goldmine, set in some of the most beautiful scenery, on a steeply graded line.

For some great photos of the line, see Michal “Doctor” Pawelczyk’s site.

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