Posts Tagged ‘scrap’

Loco to heaven or plain loco?

Friday, 25 June 2010

Engine to heaven? The remains of Ty2-1035 being set up in Wroclaw. From a photo by Marcin TB.

(Click image to see this and other photos on the Wroclaw Amici website.)

When at the end of the 1980s PKP set up its regional ‘skansens’ – based around a number of working motive power depots – it seemed that the future of ‘Kriegslok’ 2-10-0 Ty2-1035 was secure. One of the ‘skansens’ was to be at Jaworzyna Slask and the locomotive had been shedded there since 1968. PKP gathered together several large collections of historic locomotives and rolling stock. The items intended for Jaworzyna included rolling stock that had reached Poland from places as far afield as France and Belgium and one of the two surviving ‘Liberation‘ 2-8-0s built by the Vulcan Foundary at Newton le Willows.

In 1991 Jaworzyna MPD closed. The collection found itself – on paper at least – under the protection of the Railway Museum in Warsaw. But such ‘protection’ was no guarantee of preservation. For twelve years the priceless exhibits were subject to vandalism, regular visits by scrap thieves and the action of the Polish weather. Finally, in 2003 PKP handed over the shed and its collection to the Jaworzyna Slask Town Council. In turn the local authority entered into an agreement with the Muzeum Przemyslu i Kolejnictwa na Slasku (The Slask Region Museum of Industry and Railways) which was to manage the museum and its exhibits.

However, PKP did not hand over all the exhibits. Some of the rolling stock – perhaps judged to be so far gone as to constitute an embarrassment – was pushed into a distant siding and forgotten. Some locomotives were also left behind. Was some PKP or Warsaw Museum official hoping for a lucrative private arrangement with a wealthy overseas buyer? One of the locomotives excluded from the deal was Ty2-1035. Its step-by-step devastation is well documented on Tomislaw Czarnecki’s excellent website Wciaz pod para.

Truly, PKP works in mysterious ways its wonders to perform. Ty2-1035 seemed destined for the oxy-acetylene torch to share the fate of locomotives recently scrapped in Scinawka Srednia, Kudowa Zdroj, Wolsztyn and elsewhere. But the Kriegslok’s fate was to be far worse. In the end the engine was not even accorded a decent burial. The locomotive was bought by developer Archicom, stripped of interior fittings such as boiler tubes and superheaters, and mounted on its hind quarters in Wroclaw’s plac Strzegomski as an ‘art installation’ entitled ‘engine to heaven’.

Just imagine the the explosion that would take place if a property developer tried the same trick with a 9F in the UK!


7 steam engines on death row

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Pt47-17 and 5 other locomotives await their fate at Scinawka Srednia, © Michal Pawelczyk (click to see photo in original context and more Scinawka photos)

Several hundred Polish steam locomotives are in danger of scrapping if plans by Polish State Railways Estates Department, PKP Nieruchomosci, are not stopped dead in their tracks. Already 7 locomotives have been subjected to sale by tender and are expected to be cut up shortly.

The 7 locomotives are:

class/no. builder works
built state location
Pt47-17 Chrzanow 1867 1948 Barry Scinawka
Pt47-44 Chrzanow 1894 1949 Barry Scinawka
TKt48-11 HCP 1537 1951 Barry Scinawka
TKt48-20 HCP 1546 1951 Barry Scinawka
TKt48-73 HCP 1664 1951 Barry Scinawka
TKt48-110 Chrzanow 4473 1955 Barry Scinawka
TKt48-155 Chrzanow 4745 1956 plinth Kudowa

By now our battle hardened regular readers are no doubt expecting yet another BTWT appeal for more polite (or angry, as the case may be) letters to be written to the Minister of Infrastructure, the Under Secretary of State for Rail, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, the Under Secretary for Heritage, the Minister of Sport and Tourism and the Under Secretary of State for Tourism.

But no, wait, hold on a minute. By all means write letters if you wish. But there is probably an even better way. Read on. The Scinawka engines had been dumped there since the early 90s. Everything that could have been removed from the engines has been stripped off by scrap thieves. The Kudowa Zdroj TKt48 is basically complete bar cab fittings and small items.

PKP Nieruchomosci consulted widely with Polish societies and foundations and no one wanted pay to acquire the stripped down hulks from Scinawka. That’s not to say that all Polish groups would have refused to take care of the engines if they had been delivered free of charge to their doorsteps. But Poland is now in the European Union. It is EU law that all public tenders must be sent out to interested bodies throughout Europe. But how many German, Belgian, French or British societies knew that PKP were about to start selling steam locomotives for scrap?

The tender process is illegal. If any BTWT reader out there is interested in buying a Polish steam engine and wants to help, we will gladly supply the forms necessary to mount a legal challenge. But hurry!

Why do we want to fire a warning shot across the bows of PKP? Well have you noticed that the seventh locomotive, TKt48-155, is currently a stationary monument at Kudowa Zdroj. This locomotive worked at Klodzko MPD until 1993 when it was taken off the PKP inventory and made a “technical monument”. It is in much better condition than the other engines and could even be restored to working order. If we allow this locomotive to be scrapped then none of the other hundred or so steam locomotives plinthed at stations all around the country will be safe.

If you want to help us by mounting a legal challenge contact us promptly by e-mail.

The 7th loco, TKt48-155 at Kudowa Zdroj on 1 March 2008 (click to see picture in original context)