An update from Jarocin


20140809_161333 - Turntable 2 - JS

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.

Regulator 1 - KC

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.

IMG_7671 - view down boiler - no cladding - JS

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

3 Responses to “An update from Jarocin”

  1. Alex Says:

    Good news!
    But with a boiler from 1907…

  2. chester chapracki Says:

    My name is Chester Chapracki and I live in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. Originally, my name was spelled Czapracki.

    My brother, Richard and I, are trying to get in touch with any family from Poland to explore our roots.

    I also have a brother, Robert, and two sisters, Patricia and Ann Marie.

    While exploring the Zaremba coat of arms, we noticed our family name listed as bearers from Pozan, Tuliszkow or Jarocin.

    Can you send any information on our family? We want to visit Poland someday and explore our family beginings.

    Thanks a million!

    Chester Chapracki (my father Americanized the name)

    PS: We do not read or speak Polish but my parents we fluent.

  3. John Graham Says:

    Just a few things to think about. Before you go too far remove all the boiler tubes, and do a full visual. looking for corrosion on the bottom of the barrel. Water always sits there, and can easily make a large pit. And old boiler was tested under water and pasted, but a hammer went through the bottom of the barrel. Rust ans scale, was all that held the water test. Under steam it would have exploded! Once the tubes are out, get in a company to test all the plates in the boiler in a symmetrical pattern, about 20cm apart. With this information, you will have a good idea what you need to repair. If you have never taken out boiler tubes,

    it’s a fairly simple process, but you need to be careful. Using a small gas cutting nozzle, sit in the smoke-box, and cut a small slit in the tube top and bottom. The slit has to go from the front of the tube, to inside the tube-plate. Unless you go very slowly, you will not cut the tube-plate, as the tube-plate is much thicker than the boiler tube. If you go slowly, you will put more heat into the tube-plate, and risk nicking the tube-plate.

    In the fire box, the tubes are welded in with a bead weld. Here you can burn off the outer bit of the tube, and then grind off the tube back to the tube-plate. You’ll need to continue grinding the tube, until you see a faint Black line all around the tube, and tube-plate. This means you will have ground off all the bead weld, and the tube can be removed.

    The way I have described has been used many times, and if you careful no damage should occur to the main boiler plates. Also, if the troubles are good enough, they can be reused with new welded ends. The removal of tubes can be done by anyone with a good hand and eye, but any welding repairs must be done by a coded boiler welder. I would suggest contacting J Wicher at Pyskowice, as he has overseen the repairs at Pyskowice, done mainly by enthusiasts.

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