Posts Tagged ‘Pyskowice’

PKP threat to Pyskowice

Thursday, 22 January 2009


Pyskowice volunteers pose by cosmetically restored Pt47-50

An SOS from Pyskowice informs us that a typically Polish game of ‘pass the parcel’ threatens the future of the railway museum there. Since 1998, a small band of volunteers, working under the umbrella of Towarzystwo Ochrony Zabytkow Kolejowych (Society for the Preservation of Railway Heritage), has been collecting vintage railway rolling stock and other railway artefacts, and storing them in the old Pyskowice motive power depot and carriage works.

The former depot is now home to 25 steam locomotives, 9 diesel locomotives and some 22 other items of rolling stock. Slask TKp 4422 0-8-0T is in working order and a couple of other steam locomotives only need light overhauls, or their paperwork sorting, in order to steam again.

Until the end of 2006 TOZK enjoyed the use of the old depot and sidings at a peppercorn rent from PKP Linie Kolejowe, the PKP Group’s track and infrastructure company. It was always the hope of TOZK that the Pyskowice Town Council would acquire the site from PKP in lieu of unpaid rent and that the council would licence the society to use the depot.

But Pyskowice is not a town which encourages ‘bottom up initiatives’. The Mayor is not interested in helping the Society. In the meantime, the site has been transferred from PKP Linie Kolejowe, to PKP’s real estate company PKP Nieruchomości, and the latter are demanding that the Society pay a commercial rent for the site backdated to the beginning of 2008.

The only hope for Pyskowice would appear to be with the Slask province governor’s office which in recent weeks has begun to take an interest in the future of the museum.


It’s been some time since we requested BTWT readers to engage in a letter writing campaign, but our friends in the British-Polish Railway and Industrial Heritage Partnership advise us that the situation at Pyskowice is serious enough to merit such action. It is still the case that letters from ‘the West’ carry more clout than correspondence from a Polish address, so lets do our best to help TOZK in their efforts to save the museum. This time we would ask you to write to the three key stakeholders involved in the future of the Pyskowice museum.

Letters should stress the heritage and tourist value of the former MPD complex and its collection of historic rolling stock. You may wish to make the point that ‘bottom up’ initiatives such as TOZK work in Pyskowice deserve support because, without them, much of Poland’s railway heritage will be destroyed. Please tailor each letter depending on who you are writing to.

Andrzej Wach is the Chairman of the PKP Group as a whole. Letters to him should point out that the Pyskowice Museum and Society is looking after an important part of PKP’s history and ask him to encourage PKP Nieruchomości to return to the earlier peppercorn rent arrangement with TOZK.

Andrzej Wach
Prezes PKP S.A.
Polskie Koleje Panstwowe S.A.
ul. Szczesliwicka 62
00-973 Warszawa

Waclaw Keska is Mayor of Pyskowice. Letters to him should point out that the collection at Pyskowice is of European significance and that news of the threat to the museum has spread far and wide. They could also express the hope that he will give the railway museum venture his wholehearted support.

mgr inż. Waclaw Keska
Burmistrz Miasta Pyskowice
Urząd Miejski w Pyskowicach
ul. Strzelców Bytomskich 3
44-120 Pyskowice

Piotr Smigielski is the Governor of Slask province. Letters to him should point out that the collection at Pyskowice is of European significance that deadlock between PKP and TOZK threatens to destroy the museum. They could also express the hope that his office will take over the railway museum site and provide it at a peppercorn rent to the society.

Boguslaw Piotr Smigielski
Marszalek Wojewodztwa Sląskiego
Urząd Marszalkowski Wojewodztwa Slaskiego, ul. Ligonia 46, 40-037 Katowice

Work starts on Ty51-17 restoration

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Ty51-17 receives a coat of primer at Pyskowice

Members of the Pyskowice-based Society for the Preservation of Railway Heritage and Organization of Railway Museums, Towarzystwo Ochrony Zabytkow Kolejnictwa i Organizacji Skansenow, have started work on the painting of Ty51-17 which arrived in March from the so-called ‘skansen‘ (open air museum) at Krzeszowice.

TY45-125 after receiving the full Pyskowice treatment

Apart from having cab fittings and other moveable parts stolen or scrapped Ty51-17 had received no attention whatsoever during its 5 year sojurn at Krzeszowice. What a contrast to to the speedy start of cosmetic restoration work after its arrival at Pyskowice. Given the good work there being carried out by TOZK, it is hard to believe that the society have received no financial assistance from local government and that the future of Pyskowice Depot itself is far from secure.

The ‘skansen’ at Krzeszowice shortly before closure

The remaining Krzeszowice engines have been taken Chabowka, Krakow Plaszow and Pyskowice, Regrettably, the rescue mission came too late for TKp 3407, TKp 5905 and Ty45-345 which were cut up for scrap at Krzeszowice.

More photos (WARNING text in Polish):

Słupsk Depot Demolition

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Two mechanical diggers make quick work of Slupsk MPD
picture by Glos Pomorza click photo for more pictures

The Motive Power Depot in Slupsk closed in the winter of 2001 and 2002. For the first couple of years, the railway police kept watch over the complex, then after a time nobody seemed to care. Scrap thieves helped themselves liberally to whatever items they fancied, if they were fixed they they utilised a little mechanical help. Police turned a blind eye. One of the roundhouses burnt down in mysterious circumstances in 2003, now the rest of the depot is being demolished, only the two round towers, which are listed as historic monuments, will remain.

Other locomotive depots whose fate remains uncertain include Pila, Gniezno and Pyskowice. A splendid MPD existed in Warsaw in Praga Poludnie. There were suggestions that it be developed into a new home for the national railway museum and that the items in the national collection be moved there under cover. In the event Praga Poludnie was demolished and the national collection rolling stock continues to deteriorate in the open.

Warsaw Railway Museum’s EP05-01 stored in the open

More engines for Pyskowice

Monday, 14 April 2008

Ty2-1292, Ty42-24, TKp 15347 at Lazy awaiting departure 5.4.2008

The Jakubina brothers have successfully moved three more locomotives to their steam centre at Pyskowice. The locos. a Ty2, Ty42 and TKp had been stored in the open at Lazy for over 30 years. By creating ‘facts on the ground’ the brothers are hoping to strengthen their negotiating position vis-a-vis PKP Property regarding the future of the steam centre at Pyskowice. In December last year, Pawel Olczyk, the director of the PKP Property Company had his local director in Katowice petition the Katowice Province’s Curator of Heritage for permission to demolish the roundhouse at Pyskowice. The roundhouse was damaged in the winter of 2006/2007 when part of the roof collapsed under the weight of accumulated snow.

The Pyskowice Steam Centre is an interesting and worthwhile ‘living museum’ and its lack of long-term security is typical of much of Poland’s preserved railways and museums. One of the key problems is that the Jakubina brothers have been unable to secure the support of the Pyskowice Town Council. (Compare the similar situation at Krosniewice.) There are a number of overseas locomotive owners who keep their locomotives on the site. The key to resolving the problem would seem to be for the brothers to recruit their overseas ‘tenants’ (one of them Rik de Gruyter is the treasurer of Fedecrail) to join the committee that administers the site and to utilise their expertise in the negotiations that still remain to be concluded.

(Warning. Clicking on the picture above leads to more pictures of the Lazy engines and some commentary in Polish. Clicking on the picture below leads to some short You Tube videos of the move.)

You Tube Videos

Krszeszowice Finale

Sunday, 9 March 2008


I don’t usually celebrate the closure of a railway museum, but the liquidation of the so-called Skansen at Krzeszowice is a cause for rejoicing. The Skansen had been the brainchild of Jerzy Rechziegel who set up the Ogolnopolskiej Fundacja Ochrony Zabytkow Kolejnictwa, National Foundation for the Preservation of Railway Heritage. He persuaded several distinguished senior PKP executives to become executives of the Foundation, leased the railway yard at Kreszowice station and collected a total 14 steam locomotives and various items of rolling stock. The locomotives included engines which were the property of the Railway Museum in Warsaw. He also received locomotives from PKP and various industrial concerns. Railway enthusiasts became alarmed when he also set up a scrapyard on the site and locomotives in his collection started vanishing. Attempts by Polish railway enthusiasts to persuade the Malopolska Conservator of Monuments to list the locomotives as heritage items failed because key documents were missing or unavailable. Meanwhile the state of the remaining exhibits rapidly degraded and everybody in the Polish railway heritage scene expected the remaining locomotives to be cut up and the site liquidated.

In October 2007, PKP Cargo took the lead to sort out what had become a national scandal. A railway track to the yard was restored and the Warsaw Museum engines were prepared for a move. Meanwhile volunteers from Pyskowice worked on the other engines. In January, the Warsaw Museum engines were moved by PKP Cargo. A few in reasonable cosmetic condition went straight to Chabowka, the others finished their journey at the PKP Cargo railway workshops in Krakow. Finally on 2 March Ty43-1, Ol49-15, TKp 2261 reached Pyskowice Railway Centre courtesy PTK Holding S.A., which is an enthusiastic sponsor of the Museum project.