TKi3-87 on the turntable at Jarocin. Photo: John Savery.
It has been a while since I wrote about what has been happening in Jarocin. Part of my lack of articles (until the recent flurry) has been down to the amount of time spent in Poland, in part on railway based activities, and in the UK, also with railway activities, with a Polish flavour.
TKW, the society based at the former locomotive shed in Jarocin, have a good set up. Not all Polish societies can boast accommodation on site, with running hot water (and showers) available, and with adequate power and light in the shed. Granted, the main part is not heated, and even if it was, the cost of the fuel to heat it would be outside the society’s resources in the middle of winter. Nevertheless, the society’s facilities are well ahead of most others.
Back in 2010, the society stepped in to provide accommodation to TKi3-87, formerly based at Wolsztyn, and the property of the Poznan Model Railway Club (PKMK).
The loco finished working in Wolsztyn in 2001, and was towed to Gniezno for storage. Following the closure of the Gniezno workshops, the loco was moved outside, open to the elements, and anyone who wanted to help themselves to parts of it. Fortunately, very little of the latter seems to have happened, however given the plight, TKW stepped in to offer accommodation, sponsors were found to pay for the move, and a long term loan agreement was reached with PKMK.
Gradually, a group of volunteers has been formed to start to prepare the loco for overhaul, and this has resulted in a spate of activity over the summer.
Whilst some parts had been removed prior to this year, regular working parties have progressed well.
The external boiler fittings have been removed, as have cab fittings. This has allowed the cab to be lifted from the loco, and in turn, allowed the side tanks to be lifted. The cladding has been removed from the boiler sides to give access to the boiler shell.
Additionally, the reverser mechanism has been removed to give access to the side of the firebox, and parts of the cab floor have also been lifted to give access to the mounting bolts for the reverser.
For the first time in over 15 years, someone has managed to squeeze into the boiler barrel, if only to assist with removing the regulator valve rods.
Removing the regulator gland. Photo: Konrad Czapracki.
Much now will depend on the condition of the boiler barrel, and it is anticipated that the tubes will be removed, and boiler shell samples taken for analysis in the new year. This should give an indication of the level of work required on the boiler. The Polish regulations require samples to be cut from the plates, instead of non-destructive testing.
A view of the boiler without the cladding. Note the holes in the side of the shell. Samples were taken whilst at Gniezno, but never tested. Photo: John Savery.
It’s fair to say that it is unlikely to be a fast track restoration, and is likely to depend on the number of volunteers continuing to grow as visible progress is made. Nevertheless, each journey begins with a single step, and hopefully the first ones in the restoration of this locomotive have now been taken.
The group can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org