Wrzesnia District Railway, 1939 (Part 1)

by

by ‘Inzynier’

(continued from: The Jarocin District Railway, 1939 Part 2 )

After a hot two hour walk we have enjoyed a couple of glasses of the local brew at Pyzdry, the southern terminus of the Wrzesnia District Railway…  .

pyzdry

Pyzdry, the southern terminus of the Wrzesnia District Railway. Extract from the WIG map of 1935.

(Click to download the full size map. Warning: Very large file)

Pyzdry station is another relatively simple terminus, the railway having extended this far as recently as 1930. The track layout consists of the platform line, run-round loop and dead-end loading siding. The small lavatory is situated at a suitable distance from the main station building which, rather curiously, combines the waiting room, dispatcher’s office, locomotive shed and seemingly train crew lodging in a single block; access to the loco shed is via a turntable which is located, instead of the usual turnout, at the convergence of the platform line and run-round loop.

Compared to the Jarocin district railway, the Wrzesnia line’s timetable is extensive, with a daily service of three trains each way. A locomotive is stabled at Pyzdry overnight, with the first departure of the day being at 05.18 and the last arrival at 23.17. We reach the station in time to see a passenger train arrive shortly after 4pm, but we have a long wait until the next departure at 19.21.

The locomotive today is the almost new No. 5, built the previous year by the factory at Chrzanow(7). The crew see our interest in their steed and proudly show us all the ‘mod cons’ such as the superheated boiler which allows the 0-8-0 tender locomotive to develop no less than 110hp. The train of two bogies coaches and a van, however, are much older, dating from the opening of the line in 1898.

borzykowo-II

Wagons in the loading siding at Borzykowo II in 1970. Photo Andrzej Smigielski.

(Click to see the full size image on Baza Kolejowa)

During the layover, the crew take the opportunity to clean the fire, pull forward coal and fill up the tender water tank using the pump located beside the turntable and eventually the time comes for our train to depart. Soon we are off across the road and then swinging left to run alongside it(8).

On our way north west to Borzykowo we cross again the former border between Germany and Russia and, after 4km, comes our first stop at Borzykowo II station, once the frontier post, where a line trails in from the left. This was once the terminus of the line and the track leads to a run-round loop and loading siding. About a kilometre further comes Borzykowo I station, again once a terminus, but now just a loading loop. By this time of day there are few passengers and most station stops are brief.

borzykowo

Zydowo and the Gorazdowo branch. Extract from the WIG map of 1935.

(Click to download the full size map. Warning: Very large file)

Another couple of kilometres of running alongside the main road brings us to Kolaczkowo, a loop and a long siding off to the left leading to a farm complex, at which our train crosses the main road to Wrzesnia and then turns sharply to the right to run alongside it. Then comes Zydowo, where we cross the road and a branch heads back to the right for 2km to a loading point and distillery at Gorazdowo(9).

The halt has three tracks: the main line, a loading loop and the branch to Gorazdowo sandwiched between them and crossing the access track to the loading siding by means of a diamond crossing. On leaving Zydowo we cross back over the main road and shortly reach Sokolniki, with its loading loop and waiting shelter.

cont/…

Notes:

7) Wrzesnia no. 5 was Chrzanow works no. 727. It was renumbered 4 in 1939 (I have assumed after the German occupation) and taken into PKP stock in 1949, becoming Px2-805. It went to Bialosliwie in 1957 and to Myszyniec in 1958, initially became Px4-805 in 1961 and then Px38-805. It went back to Bialosliwie in 1972 or 1973 and later to Znin. The superheating was later removed and it became PKP’s last operational 600mm gauge steam locomotive. It is still at Znin and believed to be still operational.

8) The Wrzesnia railway opened the Wrzesnia – Borzykowo I line in 1898. In 1905 the line was extended to Borzykowo II; this section may have closed in 1920 but then re-opened and was extended to Pyzdry in 1930. The railway was regauged to 750mm in 1957 and closed in 1976.

9) The Gorazdowo branch opened in 1898, was regauged to 750mm in 1957 and closed in 1966.

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