2017

Occasional radio call-sign of the radio station broadcasting from Skierniewice Engine Shed

lok

Due to the 30th anniversary of establishing the PARE and 13th season of opening the Shed to the public as a museum facility, Skierniewice’s Radio Communication Club of League of Country’s Defence (LOK, call-sign SP7KMX) has established a radio station with the occasional call-sign HF30PSMK. The station will be broadcasting during each Open Day in the Shed and will be available to all interested in its activity.

On behalf of PARE and LOK Radio Communictaion Club we encourage all radio amateurs across the Europe and the World to join in.

 


Judyta Kurowska-Ciechańska, a laureate of the Steam Engine of Culture

dsc_0171k

On 28th April, for a second time in Shed’s history, we were hosting the event during which President of City Skierniewice is awarding artists and people active in field of conservation and popularisation of cultural values. This year, among the laureates was our colleague and the citizen of Skierniewice, PARE’s vice-president Judyta Kurowska-Ciechańska – awarded for her exceptional activity in revitalization of Skierniewice Engine Shed. During her speech, she underlined that this is the award of all the people, who actively participated for the last 25 years in preservation of the Shed.

Other Skierniewice’s citizen’s awarded with the Steam Engine of Culture were Anna Pokora, Włodzimierz Stefanowicz (known to us from his performances during Evenings in Engine Shed), Małgorzata Lipska-Szpunar and Andrzej Krysiak. The event was also an opportunity to celebrate the 111th anniversary of establishing the Public Library in Skierniewice and to honourably mention Krystyna and Jerzy Pietrzak, owners of company Fambud, for their support to cultural activity in Skiernieiwce.

dsc_0133k dsc_0158k

dsc_0067k

We also made use of the opportunity to express our gratitude to the city council for their help and support in taking over the last part of the engine shed – the old office building. On behalf of PARE, the former president of PARE, Paweł Mierosławski, and current vice-president, Judyta Kurowska-Ciechańska, passed the words of gratitude to the President of City Skierniewice, Mr. Krzysztof Jażdżyk.

dsc_0361k

The event was concluded with something for body and for spirit. The City Council, organizer of the event, provided a catering for the participants, and Leski – artists and musician from neighbouring Żyrardów – provided the musical performance for all the guests.

The Steam Engines of Culture gala is slowly becoming a constant part of our event calendar. We hope to host this event also in coming years.


Building the railway communication exhibition – part 5

Before the moving of functional parts of the exchange to the new localization, we had to repaint the new framework. To avoid damaging the freshly painted walls and brand new floor, single parts of the framework were temporarily removed and painted in the workshop. The recycled parts from the old exchange – bases, vertical supports, railings – had to be first cleaned of the old paint and washed. Bases additionally received soft padding from linoleum scraps to avoid scratching the floor. Some parts were to big to move them around (e.g. the top cable channels) so they were carefully painted in their final place. After first coat of paint the framework was finally assembled.

odc-5-a odc-5-b

The whole construction required to receive a finishing layer of paint, which appeared to be a time-consuming task. Constant covering of walls against paint splatters and moving around with heavy ladder quickly become exhausting.

odc-5-c odc-5-d

Before the end of August 2016 the framework was fully painted and was ready for installation of all exchange modules.


Funds for the renovation of the pump house

Pompownia z kominem

We observed the latest results of allocations of funds for historical objects with a bit of anxiety. Our last-minute application was appreciated by the Council of Łódź Voivodeship, which assigned us with the amount of 26 250 PLN for the task Revitalization and adaptation to museum of Skierniewice Engine Shed – emergency repairs of the historical pump house from 1880 (2nd phase). We are really glad to receive the funding as this is one of the oldest parts of the Shed, additionally in a bad need of a quick repair due to its deteriorating state. The total cost of the task is 42 thousand PLN, which will be fully devoted to the rebuild of completely devastated roof of this building. Additionally, this part of the Shed will stop repelling when observed from the side of the park and Łupia river.

As we still need to collect the remaining starting capital for renovation works, we would like to remind all those, who have not yet settled their tax reports, to support us with their 1% of income tax.

 


At last the whole engine shed is ours!

foy-6

20th April 2017 was a historical day for our Association. On this Thursday, after 4 PM, President of City Skierniewice, Mr Krzysztof Jażdżyk has signed the notarial deed of the last part of Engine Shed area. In this way, 25 years of efforts have resulted in success.

Everything started in 1992, when we requested to the Central Railway District if our small (at that time) collection can be moved to Skierniewice. In response, a day before Christmas Eve, during the meeting with headmaster of the District, Mr Janusz Luks, we were offered the possibility to take over the whole Shed as it was going to be defunct. The offer was so surprising, that we needed two weeks to think over the proposition – eventually we agreed to it. In retrospective, the decision brought us a lot of new challenges, but there is nothing to regret. Skierniewice Shed exists till today and still serves to the public, however now in totally new form.

foy-27

Of course, our consent was not enough to own the facility. After ten years of fighting with bureaucracy, with great help of many organizations (just to mention the Ministry of Transportation, Łódź Voivode, board of State Railways) and effort of local authorities lead by a late President of Skierniewice Ryszard Bogusz – we became an owner of the main part of the shed in November 2002. At that time we were donated with 95% of the area. Unfortunately, due to unexpected changes in 1990’s in city’s surveying partition, a matter of the remaining 5% of the land with the old office house was still open. Solution was to be awaited for the next couple of years. The ownership of this built-up area was transferred to voivodeship authorities, who finally decided to donate the area to PARE. After last formalities, we become the true owners of the whole area of the Shed.

Święto Kolejarza 2013, pojazd techniczny Unimog

Of course the new building and its surroundings is not only a costly present. For us, this is a new challenge and commitment for the local community, and area for new stage of repair works. The office building was left unused, but protected against vandals, since 1991. At that time the last part of the Shed’s offices was moved to a temporary location. The building itself was left locked and unused, waiting for the new owners. The passing years left a trace on it. For example the building is in a bad need of a roof works (fixing of roof tiles has to be conducted even this year). Next is the fixing of deteriorated plumbing and electricity and adaptation of the rooms.

Nevertheless, now we are free to carry out all works needed. We would like to express our gratitude to the City Council of Skierniewice, the authorities of Łódź Voivodeship and all those, who contributed to the successful final of this case.


Another trip to Czech Republic

img_7099

Trips to the railway museums abroad are slowly starting to become a common part of our activity calendar. Initially, we visited the foreign historical railway facilities in small groups, 3 people at most. Starting from November 2016 we increased the size of travelling party. It is not only a great way to socialize outside of the Engine Shed, but mainly a great opportunity to show our volunteers how museum facilities like our shed are organized abroad, and to make observations which may improve the organization of facility in Skierniewice. For the youngest volunteers this is also a form of gratitude for their efforts. From 22nd to 23rd April we once again visited our southern neighbours – Czech Republic.

Our first point of interest was Železniční Muzeum Zlonice, celebrating this year the 20th anniversary of its existence. A couple of years ago it was placed in small steam engine shed at the siding of Zlonice station. Lately, it has been moved to the old buildings of former grange Lisovice, less than one kilometre from the station.

SONY DSC img_6940 SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

Another stage of our trip was a historical signal box in Děčín, preserved with most of its original equipment. It was a paradise for the fans of railway signalling and traffic systems, and a good inspiration on how we can organize an exhibition in our Shed. It’s a shame that there is no such facility in Poland.

img_7227 img_7188 SONY DSC SONY DSC img_7197 img_7205

The last stage was a courtesy visit to our colleagues representing four different organizations taking care of Turnov depo.

img_7353 SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC img_7458 img_7539

To our astonishment it appears that our collections have many common parts.

img_7367 409Da-734 img_7319 SONY DSC img_7327 Kryty austriacki 4-osiowy img_7362_r 123 717


Building the railway communication exhibition – part 4

In mid-2016 we started building the main framework for the Siemens exchange. Before that it took as a couple of months to complete the required conceptual planning. The first sketch of the exchange layout was made back in 2013 and had to be revisited to take into account following conditions:

  1. the size of the exhibition room,
  2. the need to use the normalized size of the framework,
  3. to use all recovered racks (21 in total).

The last point was especially vital, as any part not used now, will be doomed for storage for many years or maybe even forever. Elementary school geometry was enough to solve the first two conditions. Available space allowed only for the set of three frames, each 4 metres long. This gave a total of 1176cm of free space (if you count out the vertical beams) to accommodate the racks of various width, starting from 65 cm (initial selectors), 55 cm (line selectors) 47 cm (translations and subsidiary modules) down to 40 cm (group selectors). A 145 cm of space had to be reserved for the intermediary switchboard.

odc-4-a odc-4-b

Racks could not be distributed randomly – the group selectors, for instance, have to be placed right next to corresponding line selectors. The location of intermediary switchboard determined the total length of cables required. It was also important to keep on sight the most important elements so that the visitors can follow the connection process. Additionally, some racks were already complete with connection cables and some will require time-consuming soldering of new connections using the rare and currently unobtainable triple-pair cables. After trail and error simulation of the layout using nothing but pencil, paper and Excel spreadsheet, we managed to find the optimal solution.

odc-4-c odc-4-d

The plan was the basis for purchase of appropriate amount of material. At last we could start some metal working – after a month of a work, the last beam was bolted to the wall resulting in a sturdy construction.

 


Easter greetings

alleluja_2017

May you feel the hope of new beginnings, love and happiness during this joyful Easter holiday.

Members, volunteers and Board of Polish Association of Railway Enthusiasts


Continuing track works

p_20170121_125445

The preparation to continue the work on the track № 59 – a main communication route in the Shed – started in the late winter period. We focused on recovering the ballast from between the ties. The work was organized in such a manner that the periods of the track being out of order were as short as possible. Yet unfavourable weather or flu season caused some delays to the initial plan.

p_20170304_151309 p_20170225_153137

17621817_1460080850729818_4834164778005809716_o

Between February and March 2017, we signed the agreement with City of Skierniewice to receive the fund of 14 500 PLN to repair the most dilapidated parts of the tracks. After removing the ballast, we could unscrew the rails and move them aside to recover the remains of old wooden ties. This way we made a free room for a backhoe loader to dig the new track trench, spread a fresh layer of ballast and lie down the heavy concrete ties and rails.

p_20170401_122914 p_20170401_162136 p_20170401_164407 p_20170401_182013 p_20170401_190533 p_20170408_093828 p_20170408_105724 p_20170408_131732 p_20170408_143750 p_20170408_151154

Finally we were able to resupply the ballast between the ties. We intend to continue the works after purchasing more ties for this purpose.

p_20170408_171554 p_20170409_170714

Track works in Skierniewice Engine Shed are supported by

Urząd Miasta Skierniewice


At the 9th International Tourist Fairs of Industrial Heritage and Underground Tourism in Zabrze

zabrze-2017

Similarly to previous years, one could visit our stand at the 9th International Tourist Fairs of Industrial Heritage and Underground Tourism which took place in OSIR hall at Matejki Street 6 in Zabrze. The fairs are devoted especially to the objects of industrial heritage open to the tourists. Among those are mines, breweries, wineries, caves, fortifications and railway facilities like our Shed.