Posts Tagged ‘Fedecrail’

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.

Krosniewice at Fedecrail Conference

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Krosniewice-Ozorkow special 1.3.2008 1 month before closure
(click on picture for video)

News has just reached us that the annual Fedcrail Conference has passed a unanimous resolution calling for the reopening of the Krosniewice Railway. Fedecrail, the European Federation of Museum & Tourist Railways, represents the heritage railway movement at European and intergovernmental level. The resolution notes the importance of the Krosniewice Railway as part of Europe’s heritage, a transport facility and a tourist attraction, and in terms of its potential contribution to tourist and economic development. It express suprise and regret at the closure, and calls on the Mayor of Krosiewice and other public authorities to do everything possible to safeguard the line and work towards its reopening.

The resolution is the initiative of Stephen Wiggs, the Chairman of the New Europe Railway Heritage Trust, and a regular reader of Behind the Water Tower, Stephen Wiggs commissioned Andrew Goltz, a member of the British-Polish Railway and Industrial Heritage Partnership (BPRIHP), to write a brief report on the current situation of the railway. He then submitted the report together with a draft resolution to the Fedecrail Council.

A copy of the BPRIHP report (pdf download) is available here.