Posts Tagged ‘Stare Bojanowo’

Smigiel 110 anniversary

Monday, 20 September 2010

Photos by Marek Ciesielski and Albert Mikołajczyk

Crowds gather in Smigiel station yard. The smoke coming from the dead Px48 is from a burning rag in the smokebox and is there just for show. Photo ©Marek Ciesielski.

Lxd2 pulling the Smigiel ‘tourist train’. Note the difference between the height of the original Smigiel Railway rolling stock and the Romanian imports. Photo ©Marek Ciesielski.

Tourist train followed by railcar. Photo ©Albert Mikolajczyk.

Three trains at Stare Bojanowo. Photo ©Albert Mikolajczyk.

Listening to the politicians. Photo ©Albert Mikolajczyk.

Strongman entertains the crowds. Photo ©Albert Mikolajczyk.

Friday 17 September was the 110th anniversary of the opening of the Krzywin – Stare Bojanowo secction of the Smigiel Railway to freight traffic. The line from Krzywin, through Stare Bojanowo and Smigiel, to Wielichowo was actually opened to passenger traffic on 30 October 1900 and the section from Wielichowo to Ujazd was opened on 1 September 1901. Though the Krzywin – Stare Bojanowo section was cut back to Zgliniec on 1 July 1979, and closed altogether on 27 May 1990, the 17 September 1900 date was sufficient excuse for Sunday 19 September to become the ‘official’ 110 birthday of the railway.

SKPL pressed all its operable passenger rolling stock into service and ran an intensive train service between Smigiel and Stare Bojanowo. At times three trains ran in quick succession one after another operating on a line-of-sight basis similar to that used on tramways. The Smigiel Town Council took care of the entertainment side of the ceremony providing the public with free soup, a band and a strongman. Later it transpired that the costs of the Town Council’s ‘contribution’ are to be paid for from the grant that the Town Council receives from the Wielkopolska Provincial Government towards the costs of running and maintaining the railway.

Rainy morning in Smigiel

Friday, 29 May 2009

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Busy scene in Smigiel yard on a rainy morning on 29.06.2009 in preparation for running three trains in simultaneously! The newly refurbished Romanian railcar will form the service train to Stare Bojanowo while the Lxd2 will haul the second of the day’s two special trains to Wielichowo. All photos BTWT.

(Click on pictures to enlarge.)

Smigiel Town Council and PKP have completed the lengthy legal process of transferring the ownership of the line to the Town Council. Whilst this should be a cause for celebration – in theory the way is now clear for the Council to apply for EU funds – the Polish reality is more prosaic – long discussions will now commence between the Council and SKPL regarding the latter’s operating agreement. High on the Council’s agenda, is a demand that SKPL pay council tax in respect of the railway land.

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Most unprototypical! The special to Wielichowo (nearest camera) and the service train to Stare Bojanowo wait in the same road. In PKP days trains to Stare Bojanowo would have used the right hand road.

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The driver of the service train gives his railcar a last minute check.

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That curve really needs some attention.

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The first special crosses the main road.

Freight traffic on the Stare-Bojanowo – Smigiel line seems to be bearing up with two rakes of standard gauge freight wagons expected shortly. If arrangements proceed as planned the Px48 from Gniezno hired by the Wolsztyn Experience will visit the line in September and October.

More information:

  • Timetable – pdf download
  • Contact – tel/fax: +48 65 518 00 10  mobile: +48 694 023 432

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More from Smigiel

Thursday, 13 November 2008

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Evening shadows at Stare Bojanowo, 8.11.2008.
Photo Marek Ciesielski

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Earlier in the day at Smigiel 8.11.2008.
Photo Marek Ciesielski

We just been sent a couple of photos from the Smigiel open day and thought we should publish these. Unfortunately thee-mailer didn’t identify the photographer, but we should be able to add the details in the next 24 hours.

Polish scheduled steam continues…

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

… in Wroclaw and Smigiel.

GWR small prairie at Birmingham Snow Hill in the 1920s? No it’s January 2008, and 5521, restored to perfection by Bill Parker, is being shown to the public at Wroclaw Glowny. (photo R. Boduszek. Click on picture to see it in its original context. WARNING, Polish text)

When the last fire is drawn at Wolsztyn on Friday July 4 it won’t quite be the end of scheduled, as opposed to ‘special’ steam workings in Poland. The Wroclaw – Jelcz Laskowice service will be worked by steam, either by Tkt48-18 or GWR small prairie 5521 as follows:

May 28th – June 5th Tkt48-18
June 18th – June 26th GWR 5521
following week Tkt48-18 (dates tbc.)
Aug 3rd – Sept 11th Tkt48-18
Sept 17th – Sept 25th GWR 5521
Oct 8th – Oct 16th Tkt48-18
Oct 22nd – Oct 30th GWR 5521

There will also be some steam haulage of the narrow gauge service trains on the Smigiel Railway between Stare Bojanowo and Smigiel. But it won’t be quite the same without Wolsztyn. A recent post on the kolejelist discussion group (this one is in ENGLISH!) puts an optimistic slant on recent developments. Nonetheless, the facts are that local PKP Cargo director at Poznan, Mr Wasilewski, is being starved of resources to keep the Wolsztyn steam engines running reliably. With Howard Jones’ Wolsztyn Experience only contributing 10% towards PKP Cargo’s costs of running the Wolsztyn Depot, and PKP Prezwozy Regionalne (the passenger train operating company) reliant on a subsidy from the Wielkopolska Council, the long-term future for the continuation of scheduled service train steam operations at Wolsztyn does not look very bright.

To complicate matters, a three way power struggle has broken out between PKP Cargo, PKP Przewozy Regionalne and the Wielkopolska Chief Executive’s office about who will eventually control Wolsztyn.

Let’s all hope that, while the parties fight it out amongst themselves, the baby is not thrown out with the bath water!

More:

Wolsztyn Experience – News and Events
You Tube – nice video clip of 5521 arriving at Wroclaw Glowny

Smigiel Railway services cut back

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Rumanian railcar waiting to depart for Sniaty and Wielechowo from Smigiel

Brief history

The Smigiel Railway started life as a metre gauge line. It opened from Krzywin to Wielichowo in 1900 and from Wielichowo to Ujazd in 1901. The section from Lubnica to Ujazd was closed in 1905 because there was insufficient traffic and a branch from Wielichowo to Rakonowice was opened in 1910 utilising much of the material from the dismantled Lubnica – Ujazd section. The Wielichowo – Lunica section continued in operation until 1924. For most of its history it was owned by the local authorities, however, in 1949 it was taken over by PKP. It was re-gauged to the PKP standard (Russian) narrow gauge of 750mm betweem 1952 and 1953.

Death by many little cuts

By 1973, the secretary of the Communist Party in Rakonowiec decided that narrow gauge railways were unfashionable and ordered the Smigiel Railway cut back to Wielichowo. At a stroke, he deprived the railway of the principal destination for much of its passenger traffic. The railway struggled on from year to year passenger services being cut further back. In 1979 the Zgliniec – Krzywin section was closed to make way for a new reservoir and in 1990 the section from Stare Bojanowo to Zgliniec was closed.

The end of the PKP Era

Passenger services were withdrawn completely on 22 June 2001, this being the last day of normal passenger trains running (as opposed to special trains) on PKP’s narrow gauge railways. Freight traffic continued until PKP closed all its narrow gauge operations in December 2001.

A new beginning

The line was taken over by the local authority who entered into an operating agreement with Stowarzyszenia Kolejowych Przewozow Lokalnych, (SKPL). Passenger trains using Romanian-built railcars started running again in February 2002, and freight services followed some time later.

In September 2002, with the start of the new school term the timetable was increased, and the passenger services returned to Wielichowo for the first time in a decade. By October freight traffic had also increased, with coal being carried on a daily basis from Stare Bojanowo to Smigiel, Witowo Polski or Wielichowo. In 2007 and 2008, a Px48 steam locomotive, leased by Howard Jones from the Gniezno Railway appeared at Smigiel and hauled certain trains as part of Howard’s “Wolsztyn Experience” product.

And another cut

From 1 April this year, SKPL has been forced to withdraw all services beyond Smigiel because of the state of the track. Two promised grants, one from the Smigiel Town Council and the other from the Council of Wilkopolska Province have not been forthcoming. If you know the Smigiel Railway and consider it is worthy of financial assistance then it would be very helpful if you made your views known to the relevant authorities.

The Mayor of Smigiel:

Sz Pan Wiktor Snela
Burmistrz Smigla
Urząd Miasta i Gminy Smigiel
Smigiel 64-030
pl. Wojska Polskiego 6
POLAND

e-mail: burmistrz@smigiel.pl

tel: +48 65 518 98 23 or 518 01 39 or 518 00 03

The Chief Executive of Wielkopolska Province:

Sz Pan Marek Wozniak
Marszalek Wojewodztwa Wielkopolskiego
Al. Niepodleglosci 18
Pokoj 142 Budynek C
61-713 Poznan

e-mail: marszalek@umww.pl

tel: +44 61 854-19-88 or 61 854-18-47
fax: +44 61 854-17-17

The Smigiel Railway currently extends from Stare Bojanowo to Wielichowo. (The map can be moved, expanded or changed to satellite view.)