Wrzesnia District Railway, 1939 (Part 2)

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by ‘Inzynier’

(continued from: The Wrzesnia District Railway, 1939 Part 1 )

Having started our narrow gauge exploration at 08:25 at Witaszyce, we are on the last leg of our first day’s travels – the 19:21 from Pyzdry to Wrzesnia – approaching the junction station of Zieliniec…

zieliniec

Zieliniec, the major junction on the system. Extract from the WIG map of 1935.

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

After a couple of kilometres with the main road still on our right comes Zieliniec, clearly a major location in railway terms. We pass through the first loading loop alongside the road, then swing left, away from the road, and a branch comes in from the right – this runs some 4km to loading points and a farm at Bieganowo(10).

Then comes the station itself, alongside a road and with the passing loop straddling a trackway that leads off to the south. Here we wait for about 3 minutes, while the guard uses the telephone to get clearance for the section ahead. From the west end of the loop another branch heads back to the left, running 8km to Krzywa Gora. Curiously, this line initially runs south, parallel to the main line, before heading off west to serve various farms and loading points, with a couple of short subsidiary branches.

With permission obtained to enter the next section we start away again and curve right, across the minor road, and encounter the third part of the Zieliniec ‘complex’ as a siding to the left is followed by another loading loop, from which yet another siding branches back right to the estate farm. Now we head out across open country, the main Wrzesnia road now some way off to our right and gradually diverging from the railway.

neryngowo

Neryngowo station in 1970. Photo Andrzej Smigielski.

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

Soon we pass the halt at Janowo, with a loading loop into which runs a field railway from the east, and shortly afterwards we cross a road and pause briefly at Neryngowo, which again has a loading loop and a short branch running in from the right, which was only built in the last year or so(11).

Setting off again, we soon lose the trackway that serves the loading point, and as we run across the fields we pass over a small river before reaching Nadarzyce, with another loading loop and a short branch heading off to the north east(12). We curve slightly to the left, following the slight valley of the Wrzesnica river, and cross another small river before reaching Kaczanowo halt – another loading loop but no branch this time.

wrzesnia

Leaving Kaczanowo we cross a road and curve right to run alongside it, following the right and left hand curves of the road, crossing a few trackways and another watercourse as the buildings of Wrzesnia come into sight. A curve to the left brings us to Wrzesnia Miasto halt, its loading loop sandwiched in the fork between two roads. The location is obviously considered more convenient for the town than the standard gauge station, for it boasts a quite sizeable and very modern station building; a number of passengers alight here.

Leaving the halt we cross a fairly major road and after a few hundred metres turn sharply right across a more minor road and then there opens out a fan of narrow gauge tracks. On the left we pass the railway’s offices and a transhipment facility with the standard gauge tracks, while on the right a multitude of parked up wagons and vans partly obscures our view until, at the north end of the yard, we pass the workshops and four-track loco depot, accessed via a turntable in roundhouse style.

Our train, moving fairly slowly now, crosses a standard gauge siding serving the sugar factory on our right, while to the left is a range of standard gauge sidings forming part of the main station yard. We trundle over a couple of turnouts that give access to the narrow gauge sidings serving the factory, pass a run-round loop and weighbridge, cross a road and then grind to a halt at Wrzesnia station, consisting of another run-round loop, another weighbridge, a siding heading back to the sugar factory and a small ticket office.

The 24km from Pyzdry to Wrzesnia have been covered in 1 hour and 17 minutes, an average speed of just under 19kph (around 12 mph). A few passengers from our train walk across to the standard gauge station and, as the locomotive heads off for the shed, we gather our bags and walk to our inn for the night, fortunately not far from the station, for it is already after 20:30 and the day’s exploration has left us weary and ready for a quick meal, some beer and bed.

to be continued…

Notes:

10) The Bieganowo and Krzywa Gora branches opened about 1911, were regauged to 750mm in 1957 and closed in 1966.

11) The Neryngowo – Gozdowo branch opened about 1938, but was closed in 1946.

12) The Nadarzyce branch opened in 1898, was cut back to a few hundred metres after 1945 and probably closed in 1957 when the rest of the railway was re-gauged.

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