Archive for the ‘Tkt48’ 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.


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.

Metal thief strikes at Jarocin

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

TKt48-72 Jarocin-071

TKt48-72 in June 2012, shortly after its arrival in Jarocin. Photo Marek Ciesielski.

TKW, the preservation society based at the former loco depot at Jarocin, suffered at the hands of a scrap metal thief on 26 December.  The thief targeted TKt48-72, which had been stored outside the shed, stripping elements of the braking system from the locomotive.

By chance, a society member noticed a man behaving suspiciously, and contacted the police.  The police attended promptly and arrested a 52 year old man in connection with the theft.  Officers found a number of parts in the grass close to the locomotive, as well as parts laid out in some of the surrounding buildings on the site, indicating that this was not the first time that parts had been removed.  The man in question is already known to the police, and, if convicted, could be sentenced with up to 5 years in jail.

TKt48-72 was built in 1951 and was originally based at Bielsko Biala, and then predominantly at Jaslo.   Brief interludes at Chabowka, and Nowy Sacz followed by a stint at Zielona Gora.  The engine spent 24 years of its life at Kepno, before being moved to Gniezno in 2000.  In 1995, it was placed on the register of historic monuments, though today it is little more than a shell with many parts missing.

The society took the locomotive under its wing in January 2013, and at present leases the locomotive from PKP.

The theft highlights the risks to the remaining redundant steam locomotives in Poland.  Even those in the custody of recognised societies run the risk of being stripped of easy to remove parts if they are stored outside.  Whilst TKW Jarocin takes security reasonably seriously – it does have a system of CCTV cameras installed to monitor the grounds outside the shed – like other societies it is prone to people wandering through the external grounds and helping themselves to metal.

Poland would do well to learn from the UK’s recent approach to the sale of stolen scrap metal.  Since the UK banned “cash in hand” scrap metal transactions, metal (and cable) thefts have plummeted.  Unless a similar approach is taken in Poland, metal thefts will continue to be a serious problem.

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.

Make a difference! Part 1.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Tkt48-177, plinthed in front of the station buildings at Nowy Sacz. Photo Mariusz Rzepkowski, via Wikipedia Commons.

(Click image to see larger version. Click here here for details of license.)

I occasionally get enquiries from readers who are interested in buying a Polish steam locomotive. There are still a couple of hundred steam locomotives in Poland which are either plinthed at various remote country locations or mouldering in obscure sidings. In principle, what could be more worthy, than giving one of these locomotives a new lease of life. In practice, the path of locomotive acquisition and restoration can be very tortuous, particularly for someone who is not Polish.

First of all, if you do find a locomotive owner who is willing to sell you are likely to come up head-to-head with with a Polish society were also trying to acquire the same engine. If it comes to a bidding war, a ‘foreigner’ is likely to have more resources available that a Polish preservation society, but do you really want to start your railway preservation venture in Poland having antagonised the very people whose help you may need to progress your project.

Secondly, Poles are all too aware that the average income in Great Britain is some five times that in Poland. So you are likely to find yourself being charged more for many services such as transport or secure storage than a Polish owner.

Thirdly, those locomotives that are likely to come up for sale, have in all probability been stripped of so many parts that their restoration would be a long and very expensive process.

Tkp “Slask” at Labedy Steelworks. Special event organised for British railfans, September 2007. Video by Rembek.

In my view there is a better option than trying to acquire outright ownership a Polish steam locomotive. It is to join forces with an existing owner and help to provide the resources which will make possible the restoration of the locomotive within a reasonable timescale. The result could could be a win-win for both sides. The new investor is not faced with bills for acquisition, transport or secure storage. Any money immediately available can be spent on restoration. Of course, for such an arrangement to work well a clear partnership agreement properly executed according to Polish law is essential.

“Las” 0-6-0T on the Bieszczady Railway. Photo BTWT.

(Click image to see larger version. Click here here for details of license.)

How might such an agreement work? Let’s look at a number of examples. A Polish society owns a Tkt48. It only needs some £20,000 spent on it to be restored to working order. The society are busy with a large number of other projects and the Tkt48 is not a high priority. The locomotive would be available to any individual or group willing to adopt the locomotive for a particular length of time. Meanwhile another Society would be happy to lease the locomotive – once it is restored – to haul regular freight trains on a municipally owned branch line.

Take another example. An Englishman owns a Tkp ‘Slask’ 0-8-0T. He’s busy with a number of other projects in central Europe. He is looking for an individual or group to invest in the restoration of the locomotive to running order and in return for the investment is willing to give the investor a 50% share in the locomotive.

Final case. A Polish group owns a 750 mm gauge 0-6-0T ‘Las’. The group has its hands more than full working on a large collection of standard gauge rolling stock. The locomotive could easily be restored to working order. The owning Society would like a number of incoming investors to form a subgroup working as full members of the parent organisation. The locomotive’s new minders could take the loco to work on other narrow gauge lines as a roaming ‘ambassador’ for the parent organisation.

The above examples are not hypothetical, but are examples of real locos all needing a helping hand. So any ‘foster parents’ out there?

Tkt48 celebrates Reymont Day

Saturday, 20 June 2009


Tkt48-18 hauls the Reymont Day vintage train, Lodz Fabryczna, 20.06.2009. Photo BTWT

(Click picture to watch video.)

Wladyslaw Reymont wrote some good books and beat off rivals Thomas Mann, Maxim Gorky and Thomas Hardy to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1924. Railways were a an important part of his life. His first steady job was as a level crossing keeper at Koluszki. Injured in an accident on the Warsaw Vienna Railway he was awarded 40,000 roubles in compensation.  The money allowed him to fulfil his passion for travelling round Europe by train.

So it is rather fitting that this year’s Reymont Day celebrations included a steam-hauled vintage train from Lodz Fabryczna to Lipce Reymontowskie, close to the village of Krosnowa where Reymont lived for a time. The organisers of the event included PKP InterCity, PKP Linie Kolejowe (PKP’s infrastructure company) and the Chief Executive of Skierniewice District Council. The sponsors included Bombadier Transportation. Now if only someone could persuade PKP LK to be equally accommodating to steam specials in other parts of the country… .