Archive for the ‘Leszno’ Category

Save Our Water Towers!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Water Tower at Leszno Works, April 2011. Photo BTWT.

There is a rather poignant piece about the fate of old water towers in the current edition of New Poland Express. Graham Crawford, NPE’s regional news editor waxes lyrical about the potential of the old structures to be adapted for new roles.

Last week I spotted a story about other crumbling treasures – old water towers in Slask. Flicking through the pictures, you can clearly see an attention to beauty beyond the merely functional that was frequently missing from the heartless utilitarianism of the communist period. Now they’re mostly suffering at the hands of untrammelled capitalism.

To their credit, many of the local authorities have realised how potentially valuable these extraordinary structures are; how much a part of the landscape of their towns they are, and have plans to put museums and restaurants and other things inside them. The problem is finding the investors. Let’s hope PKP gets round to protecting its heritage, and that the economic crisis ends in time for these architectural jewels.

This is all very admirable and we are delighted that the NPE is adding its voice to the clamour that PKP take a more responsible view of that portion of Poland’s industrial heritage which is in its custody.

However, the fundamental problem is that since PKP was ‘commercialised’ and ‘restructured’ prior to privatisation, neither the main holding company, PKP SA, nor any of its myriad subsidiaries’, feels under any legal obligation to pursue any objectives other than maximising short-term revenue.

The consequences of this can be seen in the wanton destruction of much of Poland’s railway heritage all around Poland.


No Steam Today – Postscript

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Ol49-69 at Leszno on 27.11.2011. Photo John Savery.

(Click image to enlarge.)

John Savery writes –

I’ve been following the blog on “No steam today”.  There are actually overhauls going on at Leszno at the moment, and some money is being put in to get more locos in steam.  I’ve attached some photos of Ol49-69 (previously 99) in Leszno taken 27 November when I was last out there.  The boiler is currently in Pila being overhauled, with the bottom end being done in Leszno.  Ol49-23 is next in line.  The tender is also being overhauled, with a new tank being fabricated.

A tender receiving attention. Photo John Savery.

(Click image to enlarge.)

We are always pleased to hear from readers, especially when they can add some more information to a story published on BTWT. John Savery’s photo report from Leszno works casts a more optimistic light on the future of the regular steam services running between Wolsztyn and Poznan.

But hold on a moment, there seemed something dreadfully deja vue about John’s 27 November picture of the bottom half of Ol49-69 at the head of the article. A quick sort through the BTWT photo archive dug up the photo below taken on 17 September! Can anyone report on any more progress on this loco?

A rather less dusty Ol49-69 on 17.09.2011. Photo BTWT.

(Click image to enlarge.)

PKP Cargo celebrate St Catherine’s feastday

Monday, 5 December 2011

Photo report by John Savery

Ol49-59 and Sw. Katarzyna statue, PKP Cargo offices, Poznan. Photo ©John Savery

(Click image to enlarge.)

Swieta Katarzyna (Saint Catherine) is the patron saint of railway workers in Poland.  25 November, the saint’s feast day, saw PKP Cargo celebrate the rededication of their statue to Sw Katarzyna, in front of their offices at the rear of the Cargo shed in Poznan.

A moment during the rededication ceremony, PKP Cargo offices, Poznan. Photo ©John Savery

(Click image to enlarge.)

Ol49-59, which had worked the morning train from Wolsztyn down to Leszno the previous day, had been buffed up to a shine, and worked light engine to Poznan that morning, in time for the celebrations.  With brass band playing, and standards paraded, the statue was blessed, before the engine worked light back to Leszno in time for the scheduled afternoon train to Wolsztyn.

Days work done, Ol49-59 basks in the evening sun, outside Leszno MPD. Photo ©John Savery

(Click image to enlarge.)

Looking around Leszno

Saturday, 24 September 2011

A visit to Poland by Mike Pease, the Vice President and founder of the British-Polish Railway and Industrial Heritage Partnership, provided a welcome opportunity to revisit some favourite railway locations. Since the Leszno maintenance depot is well known and well photographed, I thought that this time it would be interesting to take photos in B&W. All the pictures reproduced below were taken on 17 September 2011. This photo shoot brought back many memories: my last B&W shed interior shots were taken some 35 years ago at Tysley and Oxley ex GWR sheds. Thanks to the latest digital camera technology it is now possible to take good shed interior pictures without lugging around a heavy tripod. Wearing the regulation Polish railway ‘uniform’ of blue shirts and dark trousers, our visit brought in a bumper crop of pictures and passed off without any incident.

Vintage railway enthusiast and a line of vintage diesels.

Ol49 cab undergoing a makeover.

What is the engine lurking in the back?

A closer look reveals a complete Ty2 ‘plugged in’ to the depot’s central heating.

(Click any photo above to see an enlarged view.)