Archive for the ‘Jaworzyna Slask’ Category

Locos on the move

Monday, 16 February 2015

1255 - Lorry

Ol49-61 after arriving at Dzierzoniow. Photo: John Savery

Ol49-61 now has a new home.  After many years languishing in Elk, the loco has now moved south, albeit on the back of a low loader.

Its new home from 8 February is Dzierzoniow, in Dolny Śląsk, at the former locomotive depot.  The former depot is to become an outpost of Muzeum Techniki i Przemysłu, which is based in Jaworzyna Śląsk.

Sosnowiec

Ol49-61 being readied for unloading. Photo: John Savery

The Ol49 joins TKt48-72, which was formerly at Jarocin.  Both locomotives were purchased at the PKP Nieruchomosci tender in 2014, along with a number of other vehicles, including Ol49-102 and Ol49-9.

The state of the loco’s meant a road move was preferable.  Given that the loading gauge on Poland’s roads is less than the rail loading gauge, the highest parts had to be removed for the trip, and were carried on the bed of the low loader.

1258 - Chimney and smoke deflectors

Items that put the load out of gauge for the Polish road system were taken off prior to the move. Photo: John Savery

Ol49-9 has also made the move in the past few days, with Ol49-102 expected to follow shortly.

May Days – Spoilt for choice

Saturday, 28 April 2012

But not everyone is celebrating!

Chabowka Tkt48-191 at the 2010 Wolsztyn Parade. Photo BTWT.

(Click to enlarge.)

With so much going on during the Majowka (May Days) week for narrow gauge enthusiasts, it is only fair that BTWT should also cover some of the standard gauge attractions as well. When we look at something we look under the carpet as well, so be prepared for some critical comments!

Wolsztyn 28 – 29 April

The May festivities start with today’s annual Wolsztyn Steam Locomotive Parade. This is the biggest event of this kind in Poland and is attended by some 30,000 people. One would think that, with so many visitors coming from outside the area, the burghers of Wolsztyn would be enthusiastic supporters of the event. True, Wolsztyn Council does provide the security guards, but that is all.

How wonderful it would be to have some sponsorship from the town towards the costs of running steam specials from Warsaw and Wroclaw connecting with the event. (There is a special train from Wroclaw, but it is not steam-hauled; and one steam-hauled service from Poznan.)

The Council members appear to regard Parada Parowzow as a side show to their Dni Wolsztyna (Wolsztyn Days). They put on pop concerts, a sailing regatta, fishing competitions and support events put on by local schools. A couple of years ago the Mayor of Wolsztyn was overheard by one of our friends listing the attractions of Wolsztyn at a tourism promotion event in Warsaw. Not once did he mention the Steam Depot, the Steam Locomotive Parade or the steam-hauled trains to Poznan!

If today’s huge crowds, steam engines charging up and down a short piece of track and a light show are not your cup of tea, why not go to Wolsztyn tomorrow? The crowds and overseas steam locomotives will have gone, but there will be steam trains running from Wolsztyn to Stefanowo and Rakonowice and a chance to see Chabowka’s Tkt48-91 doing some useful work.

At the end of each year’s Parada Parowozow the same question is asked, Will there be another parade next year? And each year the answer is the same, With PKP Cargo on the verge of privatisation and with Wolsztyn Town Council being so laid back about their steam shed and steam trains, who knows?

Jaworzyna Slask – 28 April – 6 May

The Industry and Railways Museum at the old Jaworzyna Slask steam depot is running special attractions during the whole week. There will be conducted tours of the museum and its collection. Demonstrations of the turntable, a chance to ride in vintage coaches, and from 1 May a chance for a cab ride in the museum’s Tkt48-18.

The management of Jaworzyna Slask is not loved by the Polish railway enthusiast community. Some difficult decisions had to be made at the start of the museum’s existence, not dissimilar to the Festiniog Railway’s scrapping Moel Tryfan in 1954.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the affair, today the museum’s collection looks superb, Tkt48-18 (thanks to the generosity of Wolsztyn Experience) is in working order, and the museum’s approach to its paying visitors is 100% professional.

Koscierzyna – 2 May

Koscierzyna is one ex PKP Skasen that nearly got away. Its rescue is largely due to the efforts of Miroslaw Szymanski, the former Chief Executive of Fundacja Era Parowozow who lobbied tirelessly for its takeover by the local council.

The museum is open every day, on 2 May the Skansen celebrates its 20th birthday and entry will be free. There will be a railway themed concert and the unveiling of a statue commissioned by the council celebrating the line of 18° latitude. One wonders why the council could not have commissioned the restoration of a particular item or rolling stock instead?

Skierniewice – 5 May

The Polskie Stowarzyszenie Milosnikow Kolejowych (Polish Railway Enthusiasts Association) are holding an open day at Skierniewice on 5 May. The amazing collection of railway rolling stock at Skierniewice deserves to be better known outside Poland and this is one event which we would enthusiastically endorse with no reservations.

We do have one question which though we have asked the PSMK authorities several times has not been satisfactorily answered. Why – given the society’s very visible need for money – don’t they charge admission to their open days and raise income from ancillary activities like selling guides and refreshments? Or are they afraid that if they do the local council will turn round and hit them with local taxes levied at commercial rates?

Those not celebrating!

Chabowka

Amazingly, with a permanent staff of some 8 people, some 6 locomotives in working order and a full time official responsible for marketing, the Chabowka skansen  is not putting on anything special during the May Days holiday. It is true that the skansen despatched Tkt48-191 to Wolsztyn with a couple of coaches and its also true that Chabowka put on the annual Parowozjada steam gala in August, but given the resources devoted to the skansen we find it incredible that no attractions – however modest – are being put on during this period.

Just to show what the skansen team are capable of – when they put their mind to it – the official web pages boast that on 31 March a private freight train was run at the behest of a – presumably wealthy – German enthusiast from Chabowka to Nowy Sacz along this disused line.

We have long admired the engineering expertise of the technical team at Chabowka and their achievement in keeping so many engines in working order with minimum resources. It is a great pity that the people responsible for marketing the skansen do not have the same ‘can do’ attitude.

Karsnice

Images of Karsnice. Video by .

The Karsnice skansen is a very sad case. It was started by the manager of the railway workshops there in 1989 and a sizeable collection of locomotives and railway rolling stock was built up. His plan was to transfer the collection to a special trust, but he received early retirement (and a reduced pension!) before the trust could be set up.

When he left the Karsnice workshops the collection was left in limbo and then PKP’s real estate department, PKP Nieruchomosci, started selling the exhibits. One Ty2 went to the Lodz holocaust museum a couple of other locos were sold to the PSMK at Skierniewice.

A ‘Save Our Skansen’ campaign was run by the neighbouring town of Zdunska Wola and some leverage at ministerial level was provided by some international friends. Officially the skansen was repreived. The rolling stock and the land it stood on was transferred to the Zdunska Wola Town Council.

The council managed to raise some funds and obtain an EU grant to cosmetically restore some of the rolling stock. But Nieruchomosci transferred only the bare minimum parcel of land. The shed where the Karsnice vintage train of wooden four wheel carriages was not included. This great video by Lukasz Szyczyk shows the tragic result.

Elk

Sadly, the orphaned skansen here never found a local council ready to take it over with devastating results. Now Nieruchomosci are auctioning the surviving Ol49-80 and the remaining workshop equipment.

Wegerzewo – Ketrzyn railway line

This was Poland’s only ‘preserved’ standard gauge railway line. It was saved by the Stowarzyszenie Hobbystow Kolejowych (Society of Railway Enthusiasts) who persuaded the local council to take the line over.

There was a flurry of activity here in 2008 since then nothing!

Pyskowice

The threat of court action continues to hang over the skansen. There was a court hearing last week which was immediately suspended because key PKP witnesses had not attended. The next session will take place on July 10. Till the matter is resolved the Skansen remains closed. More BTWT readers are needed to assist with the lobbying effort that is going on behind the scenes. Please get in touch if you would like to help.

Skierniewice or Naleczow or both?

So where to go next week? It has been a while since I visited the Skiernievice Skansen so the open day there is a big temptation, but Gregorz Sykut writes that the Stowarzyszenie na Rzecz Rozwoju Nadwislanskiej Kolei Wąskotorowej (Association for the Development of the Nadwislanska Narrow Gauge Railway) is running a special train followed by a film show at Karczmiska station.

The train, film show and car parking are free. The start is at 5.30 PM and the Society have a plan to finish at 9:30 PM. At the station there will be an  opportunity to purchase a meal from the grill and drinks. More details from: gsykut@gmail.com.

Hmm, narrow or standard gauge? Naleczow is not all that far from Skierniewice… it would be great to visit both!

Dyspozytor

Film competition – part 10

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Ty23-299. A clip from Wezel by K. Karabasz.

The new fast bowler posed difficulties for our BTWT batsmen, none of whom managed to score during the last over. Gavin Whitelaw and Mark Judd both made brave attempts to play the ball, but – as no runs were scored – the point goes to Dyspozytor. The locomotive shown in our previous clip also caused a little puzzlement. It is Ty23-299, a pre-WWII 2-10-0.

The Ty23’s were the first Polish-designed heavy freight locomotives built for newly independent Poland. In 1923, Poland’s steam locomotive construction facilities were still being created, so the designer of the Ty23, Waclaw Lopuszynski, completed the detailed design work on the engine at the Schwartzkopff works in Berlin (BMAG). Schwartzkopff built the first 15 of the class (Ty23-1 to Ty23-15) and probably thought that they were home and dry to get the order to build the remaining locomotives of the first batch, which were needed urgently.

In the event, PKP went out to tender and the order was won by three Belgian companies. The builders of the next 60 engines were as follows: Cockerill, 26 engines, Ty23-16 – 41; St. Leonard, 19 engines, Ty23-42 – 60; and Franco-Belge, 15 engines, Ty23-61 – 75. The rest of the class were built in Poland: 164 engines by HCP, the H. Ciegielski works in Poznan, (1926 – 1932); 266 engines by WSABP, the Warsaw Steam Locomotive Construction Company (1927 – 1934); and 106 engines by Fablok, the First Locomotive Works in Crzanow (1929 – 1931).

Altogether 612 members of the class were built and they continued to be the basic Polish heavy freight locomotive fleet until 1937 when construction commenced of a more powerful 2-10-0, the Ty37. WWII dispersed the fleet among Germany and the Soviet Union. After the war, PKP was able to recover 312 locomotives.

Freight Yard at Tarnowskie Gory. Satellite photo Google Maps.

Three Ty23 locomotives survive ‘in preservation’, none in working order: Ty23-104 (HCP) in Chabowka; Ty23-145 (WSABP) in Jaworzyna Slask; and Ty23-273 (WSABP), rebuilt as a broad gauge locomotive, in Karsnice.

Wezel (Junction) – a short documentary film about the freight yard at Tarnowskie Gory – gives a rare insight into the inner workings of PKP in 1961. Each day the yard made up 200 freight trains, consisting of 7,500 goods wagons and carrying some 180,000 tonnes. Remarkably the freight yard continues in operation to this day.

Another metro still, but from which film?

Today’s still comes from a clip which takes a lingering look at an underground train. Who will be the first to identify the film?

More:

  • Parowozy w Polsce – Ty23

Steam, Snow, and Shunting!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Words and pictures by
John Savery

TKt18-18, built Cegielski 1950, at Jaworzyna Slask, 4 May 2011. Photo John Savery.

The Wolsztyn Experience now offers shunting courses run in the Skansen at Jaworzyna Slask.  Whilst over in Poland for the Wolsztyn Parade, and the TPWP special on the Sunday (plus a miriad of other excuses for another visit to Poland!) I had an opportunity to take part in a shunting course at Jaworzyna Slask, about 40km south west of Wroclaw.  The courses, operated by The Wolsztyn Experience, utilise TKt48-18, the loco previously used for the Wroclaw to Jelcz Laskowice footplate experiences.

For those not familiar with the former loco depot, it is now a privately run museum, and houses a wide range of railway and industrial artifacts, plus a collection of Harley Davidson motorbikes, and is worth a visit in its own right.

TKt18-18, simmering in the snow, 3 May 2011. Photo John Savery.

Retired Wolsztyn driver Czeslaw Janus accompanied our group for the visit, and provided his usual, welcoming style on the footplate.

For those that think pottering around on a shunting course would be a boring occasion, think again.  Carefully manoeuvring loco and wagons about the yard, coupling, uncoupling, and buffering up, watering the loco, as well as providing van rides for visitors is no mean feat, especially given that there are only inches to spare on the turntable for loco and wagon.  Equally enjoyable, the warming Goulash soup from the museum shop, and sausages cooked on the shovel in the firebox (bring your own!)

And the added ingredient – snow.  It may be May, and the temperature may have reached 25 degrees over the bank holiday weekend, but by Tuesday morning, the temperature had fallen to freezing, and 3 inches of snow fell onto the ground.  Magical.

Would I recommend it?  Absolutely.  But there’s no guarantee of snow!

A big thank you to Pan Czeslaw for his efforts on the day, as well as to the staff and crew from the museum in Jaworzyna.