2016

Invitation to the 2017 season

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Traditionally, we publish in advance the calendar for the upcoming event in Engine Shed Skierniewice in 2017. This year will observe the 30th anniversary of founding PARE. We would also like to inform that:

  • we keep the longer monthly Open Days, similarly to seasons 2014 – 2016, starting from 6th May 2017 entrance to the Shed will be possible till 3PM and the last guided tour will depart at 2PM;
  • we keep the opening hours of the Railway Night of Museums (which at the moment is planned for 13th May 2017) – we invite all interested to visit us on that day between 8PM and midnight;
  • the photo plain-airs which were improvised events in 2015 are now a regular point in the event calendar, taking place on selected third Saturdays of the month. We would like to invite all photography enthusiasts to visit us on 17th June and 21st October between 12AM and 3PM and on 19th August between 6PM and 9PM. Participants registration and admission will be possible only during the first half of an hour at the beginning of the event;
  • the programme of Railwaymen Day will be changed to fit better the unexpected weather typical for late Autumn.

We reserve the right to modify the event schedule.


Railwaymen Day 2016

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Another Railwaymen Day is over. On the cold but sunny Saturday, 26th November, we were visited by 108 guests among whom there were delegations from befriended with our Association Primary Schools № 4 and 9. The number of visitors, who crossed the gates of the Engine Shed, reached this year 6665 people.

On Sunday, 27th November, we took part in the mass for benefit of former and current railwaymen in St. Jacob church in Skierniewice. As always on such occasion, we took with us the old WVR banner. We were accompanied by the standard bearers from railway union “Solidarność”.

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Summing up the volunteers camps

In Autumn 2015 The National Institute of Heritage initiated a competition for financing the volunteer activities for the historic heritage. We wrote the application entry, gathered the vital documentation – we applied to the competition in December 2015. We had to wait till Spring to learn about the positive results, yet it was no sooner than in June when we signed the financing agreement. Full of concerns about possible success or failure of the project, we started preparing the main part of it, namely – the Volunteers Camp. Due to the lack of full-time employees we had to split the event into weekend camps. We started the enrolment and impatiently waited for the first applications. To our great surprise, there were more applications than we expected.

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Due to the specific functioning of Skierniewice Shed, which do not have any full-time employees, initially we decided to divide the Volunteers Camp into 3 parts (total of 10 days) taking part from June to October. We decided to offer the participant with overnight stay in the social area of the Shed.

The beginning of the camp was slightly delayed due to the longer than expected approval procedure and later end of the competition organized by the Heritage Board.

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Except the three parts of the camp with open enrolment, we organized one extra part addressed to the most experienced participants of earlier camps who were already familiar with the facility and could help in such events like open days:

  • 1st part – from 5th to 8th August (14 participants),
  • 2nd part – from 19th to 22nd August (14 participants),
  • 3rd part – from 9th to 11th September (12 participants),
  • 4th part – from 17th to 18th September (6 participants).

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Before starting the camp, we had to replenish the workshop equipment – buy new tools (including new compressor), personal protective clothing as well as the stock of painting and woodworking material. We also decided to organize a Health and Safety training with practical exercises. We also could not forget to provide the participants with insurance, hot meals and drinks.

Possibly the most attractive part of the camp was help in renovation of the listed steam engine class Ol49-4. During the first part of the camp, volunteers helped in cleaning the vehicle from old paint and rust. They were also responsible for preparing the smaller parts fro final painting and assembly. Participants of second and third part of the camp were engaged in the renovation work of the engine in a smaller scale. Still during that time the work required to clean-up the interior of the chassis and assembly of the steam dome cover was accomplished.

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Another important area of volunteers activity was the upkeep of Shed surroundings, including clean-up of roundhouse interior. They also provided invaluable help in forever-postponed works that were not yet completed due to lack of time, but which critically influence the general look of the facility – painting of the fences and gates. If the weather was against us, we moved the work to interiors or shaded areas, so volunteers could help in other ongoing activities in the Shed e.g. repair of the turntable drive, construction of the new exhibitions (mainly those regarding railway telecommunication) or repair of windows. The only upkeep activity that was not completed due to the scorching August heat was the cutting down the ever present self-sown bushes. Instead a couple of previously neglected areas in more shaded place were tended.

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Volunteers also had the possibility to take part in the organization of the events in the Shed. Any camp participant could become the guide helper, taking care of the visiting groups safety during the Open Days, Photo-days and other extraordinary events. A couple of participants with good theoretical knowledge and after brief training was able to successfully play the role of guides at the railway signalling exhibition.

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Whenever possible, we provided additional attractions to the participants of the camp. During the evening cultural programme, they could take part in the screening of old railway educational films. On another occasion volunteers could participate in the lecture about railway museums abroad, with the accent on Czech facilities, which due to the border and cultural proximity, stands for the best comparison with our activities.

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The last part of the camps was completing the sightseeing route “Past and Present of Engine Shed Skierniewice”, which allows the visitors to familiarize with our facility without the help of the guide. Signposts directing to various points of interest have been erected in critical locations and the exhibits placed outside the roundhouse gained new description plates. The preparation of the sightseeing route was mainly coordinated by one person with proper knowledge about graphical software, still volunteers provided help in editing and correction of exhibits descriptions and then in assembly of signposts.

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Summing up the camp in numbers

Item Count
according to the applications accomplished
Count of organized camps 1 1
Count of participants 20 46
Count of organizers/carers 3 6
Count of organized events 2 5
Count of prepared sightseeing routes 1 1
Count of visitors 1000 2500
Count of listed exhibits involved in volunteers actions 2 2

Project was sponsored by:

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA

as a part of the programme:

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Media patronage:

Głos Skierniewic nm dl its Stalowe Szlaki rsc_nowe Skierniewice24.pl Skierniewickie.pl


The end of first stage of skylight reconstruction

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On Tuesday, 8th November, a conservationist inspection of the first rebuilt part of the roundhouse’s skylight was conducted. The task of completing the rebuild appeared to be very tricky and required a lot of organizational effort. It was also a big technical challenge to our contractor, company “Marbudex”. Yet, the works reached the finish and now the roof above stands 1 to 3 is complete and can successfully protect against elements our most valuable exhibits: steam engine class Ol49-4 and battery unit 090 802Ma “Wittfeld

The rebuild works were completed thanks to the support of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, transportation company Freightliner PL and the 1% of income tax.

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Currently, we are still looking for assets to complete the repairs of last two parts of roof cover. At the moment we managed to collect 12 thousand PLN, but we still require at least 4000 PLN to complete at least half of the remaining roof cover repairs.

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25th anniversary of liquidation of 1st class Engine Shed in Skierniewice

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25 years ago, on 31st October 1991, by the decision from 15th October of headmaster of Central Board of State Railways, Mr Ryszard Olszewski, the autonomous organizational unit of PKP known as 1st class Engine Shed in Skierniewice has been liquidated. Starting form next day the facility, together with its rolling stock, has been subordinated to the 1st class Engine Shed Warszawa Odolany as its repair branch. The spirit of those depressing days have been described by our collegue, Marek Moczulski, in article Paying Last Respects published in railway weekly Signals (Sygnały).


This year’s track works finished

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We completed the track works, which were planned for this year. We repaired the most worn-out parts which called for quick replacement of sleepers. Repairs would not be possible without the support of City Council of Skierniwice (donation of 6500 PLN based on own capital 1650 PLN), which allowed us to buy new parts and sleepers. The repairs itself were carried out by the PARE members with major help provided by the participants of Technical Workshops supported by Bank Zachodni WBK Foundation.


Class Ol49-4 in shelter

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The reconstruction of the roundhouse’s skylight over the stands 1 to 3 will soon reach its final. Therefore, this part of the roundhouse has now perfect condition for storing the most valuable, restored exhibits. We decided to relocate here all those vehicles which till now were placed in various spots in the Shed. First to move under the new roof was steam engine class Ol49-4, which renovation will be soon over. It found its place on stand 3, next to the Wittfeld battery motor unit.

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Further repairs of track № 59

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Taking into consideration our experience from the previous years, we decided to avoid any heavy track works during the most severe heat. Autumn seemed the best time in the year for such type of activity. Benefiting from the mild weather of early October, we continued replacing deteriorated sleepers in track № 59. Works, carried out mostly by the participants of Technical Workshop, were supported by the City Council of Skierniewice and Bank Zachodni WBK Foundation. Track reparirs will be continued in upcoming Autumn weekends.

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Breaking records

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The October Open Day was the opportunity to break another records. And all that due to the two motorized groups which decided to visit us simultaneously o the same day. Therefore, we would like to report with pride that the number of guests had surpassed the magic border of 6134 people. On Saturday, 1st October, the gate of the Shed was crossed by 409 tourists. Thanks to that, this year’s visitors count reached already 6238 people. And that’s still not the end of the touristic season.

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This impressive result is connected with another record number – never before were we visited by such a great number of motorcycles. Thanks to the rally organized to celebrate the end of motorcycling season by the Sochaczew Motorcyclist Association 196 bikes arrived in the Shed. At the same time we were visited by the participants of 37th Warsaw’s Rally of Vintage Cars in the count of 27 teams. It’s worth noting that this is yet another such event which arrived in our facility from the neighboring Żyrardów. The individual visitors also did not forgot about us on that day.

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Invitation to the Open Day in October

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We would like to invite you to the Open Day in Engine Shed, which will take place on 1st October from 11 AM to 3 PM. During the event one can visit the interiors of Skierniewice Shed and admire the collection of historical rolling stock. Our guests are awaited by guides dressed in a historical railway uniform. As in previous years we would like to present to you much longer sightseeing route inside the main roundhouse from 1862-1942 where the major part of our collection is stored.

Other attractions awaiting our visitors are:

  • steam engines maintenance equipment,
  • historical railway workshop with vintage machines (still in working order!),
  • railway smithy,
  • interactive exhibition of railway signalling and safety devices.

Guided tours start every full hour (11 AM, 12 AM, 1 PM and 2 PM).

Free admission.