Posts Tagged ‘Fundacja Era Parowozow’

Rain dampens Parowozjada

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Chabowka engine Ol12-7 (former Austrian Railways 429.195). Photo ©Robert Dylewski.

Chabowka engines, Ty2-953 in front and Tkt48-191 at rear haul three coaches of the MAV-nosztalgia vintage train from Chabowka station to Chabowka Skansen. Photo ©Robert Dylewski.

Obscure Polish game involving Pt47-65, a fireman’s shovel and some coloured balloons. Experienced players heat the shovel. Photo ©Robert Dylewski.

The annual Parowozjada steam gala, which was held last weekend, was a bit of damp squib. Rain, and the very short notice at which the event was announced, kept away the crowds. The key local government decision makers, on whom the future of the Chabowka Skansen depends, were conspicuous by their absence.

Save a Polish Steam Engine

Friday, 23 January 2009

BTWT exclusive!


Ty42-59 being cut up in Wolsztyn in March 2000,
Photo © loose_grip_99

(Click photo to see it in its original context on Click here to see all of loose_grip_99’s photos.)

If you are not Polish, buying a steam engine in Poland can be a tricky business. How do you confirm whether the fellow trying to sell you the locomotive is legally entitled to sell it? How do you find out whether or not the locomotive is listed as a heritage monument and cannot be repaired or moved without the consent of the Wojewodzski Conserwator Zabytkow? Who has got the boiler book and repair schedule? How much does the fellow want for the documentation? Can you trust your agent / interpreter / intermediary? Are they adding on their own 200% margin to the proceedings and also expecting a back hander from you?

Suppose you have now bought your steam engine? Where do you put it? How much will you have to pay to rent the space? What about covered accommodation? How much would it cost to repair? Can you trust your fitter to do a professional job?

Well if you would like to rescue a Polish steam engine, keep it in Poland and restore it either cosmetically or into full working order, now may just be the right time. Fundacja Era Parowozow is trying to put together a plan to rescue some of the steam locomotives that PKP deems to be surplus to its requirements.

PKP’s last go at reducing its park of redundant steam locomotives caused such an enormous stink that the FEP team reckon they have a good chance to persuade PKP bosses to let private groups look after some of Poland’s 200 or so ‘surplus’ steam locomotives. Two arrangements are envisaged: (i) outright purchase at scrap metal value; (ii) a licence arrangement transferring custody of the locomotive, subject to a legally binding condition that the locomotive remains in Poland and certain restoration conditions being met.

FEP are looking for expressions of interest from organisations or individuals with the means to make it happen. The Fundacja management team are genuine railway enthusiasts and are not looking to rip anybody off. Further details from either Miroslaw Szymanski, the Chairman of FEP, or Robert Dylewski his assistant.

Mirosław Szymański
tel:(022) 625 52 46


Robert Dylewski
tel:(022) 625 52 46


Fundacja Era Parowozow
Al. Jerozolimskie 125 / 127
02-017 Warszawa

Oh, and by the way, if you do get your proposal accepted by the Foundation and start getting round to looking for somewhere to keep your locomotive, do drop BTWT a line. You never know, we may just be able to help!


One of the locos for which FEP has already found a good home. Photo © Marek Ciesielski

The picture shows Ty2-559 and was taken on Thursday 15 January 2009 in the Dzierżno works of Przedsiębiorstwo Transportu Kolejowego Holding Spółka Akcyjna a private freight operator. The cosmetic restoration included a completely new cab, new coal bunker, boiler cladding and smoke deflectors. Ty2-559 was stored for a long time at Chojnice. The locos new custodians are the AGH mining and foundry university in Kraków, outside whose headquarters the locomotive will be plinthed.

And now Chabowka?

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Chabowka, Poland’s other steam locomotive depot

Our favourite cleaning lady, who empties the waste paper bins at the Polish Ministry of Transport, tells us that Under Secretary of State for Rail, Juliusz Engelhard, and the Chief Executive of Malopolska province, Marek Nawara, will meet on Tuesday 17 June to discuss the future of the Chabowka Open Air Railway Museum. Apparently Mr Nawara is intending to create a company to take over the museum from PKP Cargo. Cynics are saying that the creation of a company rather than a ‘Foundation for Public Benefit’ (the Polish equivalent of an English Charity) bodes ill for the future of Chabowka’s collection of historic steam locomotives and rolling stock.

Our foxy friend points out that perhaps it is no coincidence that the crisis at Wolsztyn and this development at Chabowka are both occurring at about the same time. About two years ago, PKP Cargo launched a special foundation, Fundacja Era Parowozow, to take over its historic collection of locomotives and rolling stock. The plan was a good idea. A foundation can apply for local authority grants and EU finding in a way that a commercial company cannot. There was also a lot of potential synergy between Chabowka and Wolsztyn. Chabowka employs 30 people, maintains its working engines in top notch order, has just passed out 15 new steam drivers, but its engines hardly do any work. Wolsztyn lacks good fitters and drivers, its engines are poorly maintained, but up to the 1 June was running scheduled steam services daily.

However, it seems that some sort of deal was concluded in the corridors of power in Warsaw which stopped Fundacja Era Parowozow in its tracks. Instead of taking over custody of those items of Poland’s railway heritage which were set aside for preservation, the Foundation has been pushed aside to become no more than a marketing agent for PKP Cargo. A tour operator from Germany or the UK now has to first submit his requirements to FEP who then forward the request to PKP Cargo who then submit an (enormously inflated) estimate to FEP, who then send it on to the client. By the time the process is complete the prospective customer has gone elsewhere. Meanwhile FEP, which was set up to look after Poland’s railway heritage, now finds itself in opposition to any intentions that PKP may having to simply sell off Poland;s railway heritage to the highest bidder.

Never let your left hand know…

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Pt47-106 during ‘cosmetic restoration’ at Wolsztyn

While PKP Nieruchomosci, the Polish State Railways property company, is getting ready to auction its railway relics, Fundacja Era Parowozow, the foundation set up by PKP Cargo, the Polish State Railways freight and motive power company, is getting ready to hold a public collection and aution at the Wolsztyn Steam Parade on May 3rd to preserve items of railway heritage.

As we have already revealed, if the auction plan goes ahead without any changes, many unique items of railway rolling stock will be sacrificied to the scrap merchant’s torch. Meanwhile, PKP Cargo’s special foundation, which is paying its trustees many thousands of zloty ‘consultancy fees’, is collecting money from members of the public to ‘paint and polyfilla’ worn out locomotives at Wolsztyn. Last year’s appeal brought in just under 2,000 zloty.

It’s time that PKP main holding company got its act together and, together with representatives of Poland’s railway heritage societies, drew up a ‘core list’ of historic items which must be saved at all costs. Granted that PKP couldn’t afford to restore everything on such a list, certain items could be to made available to railway societies or bona fide railway museums on a licence or loan basis on the condition that they were well looked after.

The Steam Age Foundation

Sunday, 9 March 2008

The Steam Age Foundation

Having a celebration – birthday, wedding or a divorce? Why not do something different this year? Hire a steam train in Poland.

Poland is much more than cheap booze, beautiful women and drunken men. It’s a country with a glorious history. The 16th C Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth stretched from the Baltic almost to the Black Sea. The Polish alchemist Sendivogius discovered oxygen in the 17th C. Polish chefs have invented 1001 ways of serving cabbages and, most important of all, in Poland in 2008 you can ride in the cab of a steam engine hauling an ordinary service train!

So get out the railway maps and plan to start your celebration at St Pancras and then travel by Eurostar, Thalys, and ICE (or maybe even the LGV Est) to Berlin then by PKP EuroCity to Poznan and then by your own private steam train to wherever you fancy.

Details from the Fundacja Era Parowozow.