Posts Tagged ‘Cezary Garbarczyk’

First the good news…

Friday, 27 June 2008

David Morgan addresses Polish Heritage Railway managers in Poznan in 2007

(click to see photo on Fundacja Era Parowozow website)

One of BTWT’s reliable sources reports on a meeting that took place on 25 June between David Morgan, President of Fedecrail, and Juliusz Engelhardt, Under Secretary of State at the Ministry Of Infrastructure, responsible for Poland’s railways. Fedecrail is the European Federation of Museum and Tourist Railways and has been working with a number of Polish heritage railway organisations, as well as the British-Polish Railway and Industrial Heritage Partnership, to assist in the creation of a national umbrella body for the Polish heritage railway movement. In Great Britain, such an umbrella body, the Heritage Railway Association, has existed since the 1960s and Mr Morgan is also its chairman.

Mr Morgan came to Poland to tell the Minister of Fedecrail’s concern about the closure of the Krosniewice Railway. At Fedecrail’s Annual General Meeting, which took place in Salzburg in April this year, a resolution (pdf file) was passed urging the Mayor of Krosniewice to reopen the railway. Mr Morgan also raised the matter of the imminent end of the steam haulage of ordinary scheduled trains at Wolsztyn and the prospect of the sale by tender and scrapping of much of Poland’s railway heritage.

Mr Engelhardt, explained that it was his understanding that the Krosniewice Railway had been closed because of lack of cash. Although he could not offer financial support he could offer moral support to efforts to reopen the railway and help set up meetings with the local authorities.

All BTWT activists who wrote a letter to Barbara Herman (the Mayor of Krosniewice who was responsible for closing the railway) and then copied their letter to Cezary Garbarczyk (Mr Engelhardt’s boss, the Minister of Infrastructure) can now give themselves a pat on the back.

…then the bad.

With respect to Wolsztyn, Mr Engelhardt said he recognised that Wolsztyn was now probably unique, not only in Europe, but also in the whole world. It would certainly continue as a steam shed servicing steam locomotives for special events like the Wolsztyn Steam Gala and for special trains. The only aspect over which there was a question mark was the continuation of steam-hauled ordinary service trains, because the operation of railbuses was much cheaper.

This confirms our worst fears about the future of scheduled steam at Wolsztyn. We will be consulting all the key stakeholders, and then recommending what the best course of action is for BTWT activists.

Mr Engelhardt concluded by saying that he had no knowledge of the sale by tender of railway heritage items to which Mr Morgan had referred and that his view was that items of Polish railway heritage should stay in Poland.

Mr Morgan will be asking Polish railway societies to follow up in detail with the minister a number of the specific points that had been raised at the meeting.

Mayor lets nature do her dirty work

Friday, 6 June 2008

Krosniewice Station Yard (looking towards MPD) in May

I made myself immensely unpopular in certain quarters when I first announced that the Mayor of Krosniewice’s protestations that she really cared about the future of the Krosniewice Railway were a load of rubbish and that all she wanted to do was to acquire the station site at a knockdown price so that her sponsors could redevelop the site. I am not clairvoyant, but I did have written evidence to the effect that Mrs Barbara Herman wanted to reduce the railway’s footprint in Krosniewice to the bare minimum and that she wanted the railway’s operator, SKPL, to withdraw from the railway’s workshops. SKPL objected, pointing out that the workshops were essential to maintain the freight carrying rolling stock, so Mrs Herman threw them out.

Just to test the water, so to speak, another Polish narrow gauge operator sounded out Mrs Herman as to whether she was looking for a new operator. They were told that she was giving the railway ‘a rest’ for 6 months and that the plan that she was developing with Polish State Railways’ Estates Company, PKP Nieruchomosci, was that the railway land should be parcelled out among the local councils through which the railway runs. If this happens it would spell the end of any hope of ever reviving the railway as a serious transport undertaking.

The optimum solution for the railway would be for another local council to apply to take over the whole line for transport purposes. However, before we can try to bring this about we have to register as many objections as possible to Mrs Herman’s actions with the Ministry of Transport. Hence our campaign of asking our readers to write to Mrs Herman to protest against the closure of the railway, and to send a copy of such a letter to the Minister of Infrastructure. We hope that we will be assisted in our efforts by the visit of a senior delegation from Fedecrail to Poland later this month.

If you have not yet written your letter, wishing to give the Mayor the benefit of the doubt, perhaps these ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs will persuade you to do so. You will find the appropriate addresses at the bottom of this post. Please don’t worry about not writing in Polish. Both Mr Garbarczyk and Mrs Herman have people working in their offices who are fluent in English.

With best wishes

A similar view on 31.3.2008 the day the last train ran
(Click on pic to see more last day photos by Tilo Rosner)

Please write to:

Mrs Julianna Barbara Herman
The Mayor of Krosniewice
Urzad Miejski
Poznanska 5
99-340 Krosniewice

and send a copy to:

Mr Cezary Grabarczyk
The Minister of Infrastructure
ul. 4/6 Chalubinskiego
00-928 Warszawa

You’ll find many more posts about the Krosniewice Railway, as well as the story of our campaign to save the line here.