Archive for the ‘Nowy Sacz’ Category

Transwersalna closure puts charters in doubt

Thursday, 17 September 2015


The sudden decision to close the line from Kasina Wielka to Nowy Sacz to passenger traffic has taken several groups by surprise, not least Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Wolsztyńskiej Parowozowni (TPWP) who have a planned photo charter for 10 October.  The line from Chabowka to Nowy Sacz, part of the Kolej Transwersalna had recently been subject to renewed activity, due to the Małopolskie Szlaki Turystyki Kolejowej (Malopolska Railway Tourism), organised by the Nowy Sacz Railway Enthusiasts Society.  The society had recently received funding of 200,000 zl, (about £35,000) from the Malopolska regional government to run a series of charters along the line.  They too, have had to change plans, for trains later this month, and into October and November.

Ty42-107 on the closed section, 26 May 2013

Ty42-107 heads a special organised by the Nowy Sacz Railway Enthusiasts Society towards Chabowka, 26 May 2013.  Photo: John Savery

The decision, taken on safety grounds, was made by PLK, the business which runs Polish rail tracks.  With limited (if no) maintenance being undertaken on sections of the line, the permanent way is in poor condition.  The remaining part of the line, from Chabowka to Kasina Wielka remains open.

The line has been threatened with closure before however had a last minute reprieve.  With no scheduled freight service over the line, the closure is effectively a total closure over the scenic and heavily graded section between Kasina Wielka and Nowy Sacz.


Last train to Nowy Sacz?

Thursday, 20 June 2013

IMG_4889 - departing shot

Departing shot Ty42-107, and its train. Photo John Savery.

The line from Chabowka to Nowy Sacz is on the list of lines to be closed that was published earlier this year.  The scenic line, with its twisting curves and steep gradients, is worth travelling.  With that in mind, coupled with the fact that I hadn’t travelled further east than Dobra, forced the decision to go out for the steam hauled special on 26 May, organised by the Nowosądeckie Stowarzyszenie Miłośników Kolei (Nowy Sacz Railway Society).  Tickets for the special sold out weeks before, however there were tickets left for the Chabowka to Nowy Sacz leg of the trip, which had been added as a working train, rather than an empty stock move.

A bright early morning start greeted Ty42-107, and the mixed train of retro and ryflak coaches.

IMG_4760-1 Heading to Mszana Dolna

The 5.30 departure didn’t deter people from turning out for the train.  The line is rarely used, and this showed on the stiff climb from Mszana Dolna to Skrzydlna, with the loco slipping to a stand on several occasions.  A wet railhead, along with a rarely used line proved a tough match for the Kriegslok, despite not having a heavy train.  Pausing at some stations on the way for 5 minute breaks, the train made slow progress to Nowy Sacz, but kept time.  Despite the weather, there were several groups of photographers out in force at the lineside.

A large crowd greeted the train at Limanowa, many of whom boarded.

At Nowy Sacz, the train was greeted by brass bands, singers, and a display of period soldiers.

I was fortunate enough to be with a friend who has a wide network in the Polish gricing community, which rallies together to help each other out.  Seeing a contact on the side of the line, a quick handwave, a few gestures, and a follow up text message secured 2 spaces in a car for the return trip.

IMG_4910-1 near Skrydlna

Special near Skrydlna. Photo John Savery.

Under worsening weather, the train returned to Chabowka, full, and stopping for approximately half an hour at intermediate stations, where there were festivities laid on.  With decreasing adhesion, the train stalled several times, making for a spectacular display.  At one stage the crew were forced to walk ahead of the loco in pouring rain, placing ballast on the railhead so that the engine could crush it and get a grip.

IMG_4944-1 Mszana to Rabka

Special on the section Mszana to Rabka. Photo John Savery.

Arriving in Chabowka, the passengers boarded waiting coaches to take them back to Nowy Sacz and the intermediate towns.

As we close for press we have heard that the line has been saved from closure as it is of national strategic importance.  There are no further planned workings over the line – the trains scheduled for Parowozjazda are only planned to go as far as Mszana Dolna, missing the steepest sections, and in some cases the most deteriorated parts of the line.  This could well be the last train to Nowy Sacz (via the Transwersalna).  Only time will tell.

IMG_4958 empty tracks, near Rabka Zaryte

Empty tracks near Rabka Zaryte. Photo John Savery.

(All photographs Ⓒ John Savery. Click on the image to view a larger picture.)

More photos of the trip can be seen on Flickr, and video on YouTube.

Spies of Warsaw

Sunday, 27 January 2013


David Tennant as Jean-Francois Mercier, 1944 built Ty2-911 as …? Publicity still.

(Click on image to see original on

The BBC and TVP have recently aired the film “Spies of Warsaw”.

Set in late 1930’s Warsaw, the film follows the exploits of a French spy, and his associates, amid the political manuvering in the build up to WWII.  Starring David Tennant (of Dr Who fame), the film was made with some scenes shot in Poland.

Purists will note that the railway scenes feature Chabowka’s Ty2-911, an engine not built until 1944.  The only appearance of a historically accurate locomotive is the scene showing OKz32-2 which is under overhaul in the works at Chabowka (with Ty2-953 seen in close proximity.)  Nevertheless, the railway scenes do feature some great shots of the Chabowka – Mszana Dolna – Nowy Sacz line, which formed part of the Galicyjska Kolej Transwersalna (Galician Transverse Railway).

The shots also include the platform at the Chabowka skansen (look out for Ol49-44  making a guest appearance at the end of the platform), and the station at Kasina Wielka.

The line itself has featured in film several times, notably in the opening scenes of Schindler’s List.  With glorious mountain views, and steep gradients, its clear why film makers use the line, as well as its proximity to Chabowka.

But wait, if film makers can see the benefit in the line, why can’t PKP?  With minimal services over it, and minimal use of the in-ticket engines at Chabowka, you would think that it would be the ideal place for tourist trips.  PKP Cargo seem unable to realise this, and for years have failed to market the line, which is closed to passenger and freight services, and clings to life by a thread.

Chabowka is a wasted asset.  A capable workshop and boiler facility with assets that are under utilised, and exhibits that rust outside in the Polish weather.  It should be a tourist goldmine, set in some of the most beautiful scenery, on a steeply graded line.

For some great photos of the line, see Michal “Doctor” Pawelczyk’s site.

Steam special to Nowy Sacz

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Take a trip – make a difference!

Video clip of the return leg of the Chabowka-Dobra kolo Limanowa-Chabowka steam special near Mszana Dolna hauled by Ty2-911 on 27 August 2011. Video Neohagrid.

On Saturday 12 November, there will be a rare (and possibly last) opportunity to ride a steam special along the entire length of the Chabowka – Nowy Sacz line. The railway is part of the Galician Transverse Railway. It was built in 1884, during the days when this region of Poland was part of the Austrio-Hungarian empire. The co-organisers are Fundacja Era Parowozow and Gnieznienskie Stowarzyszenie Sympatykow Kolei.

A number of senior local government officials have been invited to ride on the train. If it is heavily patronised, it will strengthen the case for retaining this line as a tourist railway run in association with the Chabowka railway museum. So by taking a trip on this train you can help to make a positive impact on the chances of saving the railway for future generations.

One of the people behind this initiative is Robert Dylewski. Robert was the instigator of the successful campaign to save Ty2-5680 from scrapping, he has also been a tireless fighter in the battle to save  the railway museum at Pyskowice.

Most steam specials on the Nowy Sacz line run from Chabowka to Mszana Dolna or Dobra Kolo Limanowa, this trip will be rare opportunity to ride the whole line. The special will depart Chabowka around 08:00 in the morning; arrival in Nowy Sacz is envisaged around 13:30. There will be a ‘stretch break’ at Nowy Sacz of about 1 hour and the train will return to Chabowka around 18:00. Several photo stops are planned for the outward leg. The train will be hauled by Chabowka-based Ty2-911 and the formation will include a buffet car. Bring along your own beer!

The cost of the trip will be 250PLN. Reservations are being taken on a ‘first come, first served basis’. Further details are available from Michal Swiatek on +48 727 554 611 from 09:00 to 20:00.


Polish EMUs go walkabout

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Slowak Railways Bo-Bo diesel 742 398-1 hauls Przewozy Regionalne EMUs EN 57-694 and EN 71-004. Photo Palio.

(Click on the photo to see more photographs by Palio of the EMUs journey back to Poland.)

On 8 June we reported how a raging River Poprad had destroyed three spans of a girder bridge between Nowy Sacz and Stary Sacz cutting off the winter holiday resort of Krynica from the main railway network. Earlier hopes that the river crossing might be rapidly restored by the Polish Army have come to naught and it appears that PKP will be ferrying passengers between Nowy Sacz and Krynica by bus for some time yet. With no immediate prospect for the restart of railway service, Przewozy Regionalne decided to retrieve two of its electric multiple units which had become stranded at Powroznik and Muszyna on the other side of the destroyed bridge. On 25 August 2010, with the help of Slowak Railways the units were hauled back to Poland across non-electrified lines in Slowakia. The route taken was: Powroznik – Muszyna PKP – Plaveč ŽSR – Poprad-Tatry – Žilina – Čadca – Skalité – Zwardoń – Chabowka. The whole journey was comprehensively illustrated in a photo report on by Palio. This is well worth seeing and can easily be accessed by clicking the image at the head of this article.