Posts Tagged ‘steam gala’

Wolsztyn Steam Gala

Friday, 24 April 2009

The 2008 parade.

After much huffing and puffing PKP Cargo have decided to go ahead with the Steam Gala at Wolsztyn. Here is the programme for this years’ event. As is usual with such enterprises the exact details may differ slightly on the day. The main parade will take place on Saturday 2 May. The now traditional son et lumière – “Light, Sound and Steam” will commence at 21:30 on the evening of Friday 1 May.

Ty2-911 + vintage train. Wolsztyn – Stefanowo. PUBLIC
Ty2-911 + vintage train. Stefanowo – Wolsztyn. PUBLIC
Ol12-7 + vintage train. Wolsztyn – Nowawies Mochy. PUBLIC
(train crosses “Hefajstos” train at Nowawies)
03 2204 + 35 1019 11 special. Cottbus – Wolsztyn. PRIVATE
TKt48-18 + GWR 5521 + 9 coaches. “Hefajstos”. PUBLIC
Wrocław Gl 8:06; Oborniki Sl. 8:37; Zmigrod 9:00; Rawicz 9:20; Leszno 9:47
52 8177 + 52 8079 + 13 coaches. Berlin – Wolsztyn.
Traditionszug Berlin special. PRIVATE
18 201 + 7 coaches. PRIVATE
Chemnitz Hbf – Cottbus – Wolsztyn.
Ol12-7 + vintage train. Nowawies Mochy – Wolsztyn. PUBLIC
Ok1-359 + PKP VIP special. Poznan – Wolsztyn. PRIVATE
Pt47-65 + 9 coaches. Poznan – Leszno – Wolsztyn. PUBLIC
Train no. 77503 Poznan Gl 9:50 – Koscian –  Leszno 10:57
Formal opening
Steam locomotive parade
18 201 & 03 2204 leave to be turned in Leszno
TKt48-191 + vintage train. Wolsztyn – Stefanowo. PUBLIC
Ol12-7 + PKP VIP special. Wolsztyn – Poznan. PRIVATE
TKt48-191 + vintage train. Stefanowo – Wolsztyn. PUBLIC
18 201, 03 2204, return from being turned at Leszno
52 8177+ 52 8079 + 13 coaches. PRIVATE
Wolsztyn – Zbaszynek – Rzepin – Frankfurt/O – Berlin Lichtenberg
TKt48-18 + GWR5521 + “Hefajstos” train. PUBLIC
Boszkowo  – Leszno – Rawicz –  Zmigrod –  Oborniki Sl. – Wroclaw Gl 20:35
Ol49 + train no. 77501. PUBLIC
Grodzisk Wlkp. – Poznan Debiec – Poznan Gl  19:34
18 201 + special. Wolsztyn – Cottbus. PRIVATE
03 2204 + 35 1019 + special. PRIVATE
Wolsztyn – Cottbus – Chemnitz Hbf.

Chabowka Steam Gala: 6-7 September 2008

Thursday, 8 May 2008

2006 Chabowka Gala highlight – a procession of vintage trains – 2-10-2T Okz32-2 pulls a post office van

At it’s best, Behind The Water Tower beings you the news before it happens, though we can’t promise do it every time. At the Chabowka Gala, Zbigniew Gondek, PKP Cargo Cracow Divisional Director of Operations announced that the Chabowka Steam Gala will take place during the 6 and 7 September. BTWT readers were tipped that the event would be moved to these dates on 15 April!

Reflections on Wolsztyn Loco Show

Monday, 5 May 2008

Hungarian visitor – ex Austrian Sudbahn 4-6-0 109 109

PKP Cargo announces on its new website

PKP CARGO S.A. plays an important role as a guardian of Poland’s railway technology heritage. Many rare steam locomotives, wagons and other railway equipment are gathered in three live museums of steam traction.

…and the three day “Locomotive Show”, that finished today at the Wolsztyn Motive Power Depot, is a worthy example of how PKP Cargo at its best can fulfil this role. Purists may grumble that Wolsztyn has cannibalised steam engines to harvest spares for its working locomotives and then cut the latter up for scrap when they were worn out, but its important to see the Wolsztyn operation in a wider context. Poland is a country that has done little to preserve the machines of its industrial heritage. When it comes to making hard pragmatic decisions regarding whether to cut up or scrap, Poland should be compared not to Britain today, but to Britain in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Examples of British heritage locomotive scrapping

1906 GWR, broad gauge Iron Duke, Lord of the Isles
1954 Festiniog Railway, single Fairlie, Moel Tryfan
1963 BR, 8P Standard pacific, Duke of Gloucester,
(sent to scrapyard, rebuilt by 71000 Locomotive Trust)
1964 BR, GWR County, County of Glamorgan
1965 BR, GWR Grange, Tidmarsh Grange, Toddington
Grange, Walton Grange, Crawley Grange

1966 BR, LNER-designed 8P6F A1 Peppercorn pacific,
Saint Mungo
1970 Severn Valley Railway, BR WR 15xx, 1502, 1509

The Wolsztyn Show was good news for Poland’s fledgling heritage railway movement. (The country’s first heritage railway, the Bieszczady Forest Railway, was only saved in 1997 and many people still associate railways in general, and steam engines in particular with the bad days of communism.) National radio and TV carried regular news items throughout the Show and these will do a great deal to build public awareness about the potential of railway heritage and make life easier for promoters of other projects. The PR aspect of the event was a triumph for PKP Cargo’s press officer, Jacek Wnukowski.

There was much else that was good. There was entertainment for all the family. The PKP employees were helpful and even the railway police stewarding the crowds were remarkably polite and restrained. Mirek Szymanski, Fundacja Era Parowozow‘s management team chairman, worked hard behind the scenes and on stage to make sure that all who visited the show had a really memorable experience.

BTWT would not be BTWT if we did not have one or two minor niggles. Given that this is the largest gathering of its kind in Poland, and that it attracts enthusiast from all around the world, why were  more representatives of Poland’s 30 or so railway societies not encouraged to have their own information stands? Why was there so little information about the actual steam trains running during the 3 days? Why, given that PKP Cargo moved 2 steam engines and two sets of vintage carriages from Chabowka, was there no connecting special train from Cracow? Why was there no connecting special train from Warsaw other than the VIP charter? Why, given the high public profile of the event, didn’t Wojciech Balczun, PKP Cargo Chairman attend the event. Or, if he was too busy working on the sale of PKP Cargo to Deutsche Bahn, why did he not send Witold Bawor, his Operations Director and the Chairman of the Trustees of Fundacja Era Parowozow, in his place?

Steam Show a Smash Hit

Saturday, 3 May 2008

report compiled by BTWT’s Assistant Editor


Son et lumière et vapeur on the Friday night

Dyspozytor is a confirmed curmudgeon with a propensity to rant about anything and everything that crosses his path. So it’s something of a surprise that he e-mailed back from the Wolsztyn Steam Show impressed with what he saw. The light show on Friday, now in its second year, was very popular, made more memorable by the participation of 109 109 (see photo above) from Hungary. Saturday had something for all the family. There was a bouncy castle and free balloons for the kids, a variety of live bands playing for mum and more steam engines in steam than you could possibly count for dad.

ex GWR small prairie 5521 showing the flag

Further prompting yielded the information that the catering in the VIP enclosure was first class. (How on earth editing ‘Behind the Water Tower’ gets anyone into the PKP Cargo VIP enclosure is a mystery.) His judgement might also have been influenced by the fact that he apparently spent a considerable amount of time chatting up a young female blogger from Poznan on the pretext that she was in a better position to photograph Bill Parker’s small GWR prairie than he was! (Dyspozytor is infamous for his unlikely chat up lines.) When he gets back from Wolsztyn we will no doubt get the usual grumbly post, till then it seems this year’s Wolsztyn Steam Show was a great hit.

Year by year the crowds get bigger, soon there will be no room for more.

Come to Chabowka! Yes, but when?

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Steam shuttle Rabka Zdroj – Chabowka Skansen, 2006

The Chabowka Steam Gala is the headline event of the Polish heritage rail calendar. Held traditionally on the last weekend in July, it involves not only all the steamable locomotives in Chabowka, but also visiting locomotives from Wolsztyn and abroad. The parade is actually held at at Rabka Zdroj, a little way up the Nowy Sacz line, and involves not just steam locomotives, but vintage passenger and freight trains as well. My mate Neo, at the kolejelist discussion group, has organised two study trips for UK railway societies to visit Poland’s surviving narrow gauge railways and rail heritage sites, and I hear that his British visitors consider the Chabowka Steam Gala to be the highlight of their trip.

So should you tell the wife that she’s taking the kids to Ibiza by herself, and that your company has sent you on a week long team building course at the end of July – and join Neo and his colleagues as they celebrate British-Polish friendship in various engine sheds all around Poland? Well, err… No. We don’t actually know when the Chabowka Gala will take place this year! It should be taking place on Saturday July 26. However, Wojciech Balczun, Chairman of the PKP Management Board, is entertaining some VIPs in September and has asked Zbigniew Gondek, his local Operations and Technical Support Director in Cracow, to consider moving the event to September. Our charming ‘cleaning lady’ friend, who empties the paper bins at PKP Cargo Warsaw HQ in Grojecka Street, has everything in hand and we will let you know just as soon as a definitive date emerges.

Meanwhile, somebody please tell Neo!