2016

Our volunteer has passed away

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Right before the end of this year we received a sad news about the death of our young volunteer. Paulina Sasin, coming from Białystok, has frequently visited us to help in various activities in Engine Shed. A long distance from her home was not any obstacle in this case. In her home town she was well known from her high spirit and engagement in social affairs. She brought this unique energy with her to our Shed. One could always see her smiling, no matter what kind of work she was doing at the moment – whether this was renovation works by the rolling stock or artistic initiatives.

Paula’s funeral will take place on 1st January 2017 at 13:00 in Karakule.

We would like to pass our sympathy to Paula’s family and her colleagues form various non-government organisations in Białystok, including WOŚP Białystok.

Farewell, Paula…

 


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas spent together with the beloved ones and all the best in coming year 2017

Board, Members and Volunteers of PARE

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A come-back of “Wysocki” to the WVR route

Definitely, the major railway event of Sunday, 11th December 2016, was the opening of the new Łódź Fabryczna station. However, there were also other noteworthy events, especially important for us, members of PARE. This time it was a come-back of train “Wysocki”, after a year of suspension. It is actually a fifth time, that train with this name appears on Polish railway routes. The new train will take the shuttle route from Warsaw East to Racibórz. It’s only a pity that the train will not bear the full name – Stanisław Wysocki – due to the naming standards limiting names only to surname.

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The history of “Stanisław Wysocki” trains reaches back to 30th May 1999. Pare members put forward a proposal to celebrate in this unconventional way the memory of the famous Polish engineer. The history of all trains bearing this name till 2013 was described in detail in a chapter of “Stanisław Wysocki – pioneer of Polish railways” booklet. The issue of the book was presented to the crew of train TLK “Wysocki” on 11th December 2016.

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The five-coach train from Racibórz was greeted on Warsaw Central Station by our collegues Marek and Grzegorz Moczulski. The returning set (8 coaches) was in return greeted by other PARE members at Warsaw East, Skierniewice station (here the City Council joined in and presented to the crew various gadgets related to Skierniewice) and Koluszki (local railwaymen handed to the crew flowers). In Częstochowa, the collection of memorabilia after the inauguration run of the train was supplemented with book “170 yeasr of Warsaw-Vienna Railroad in Częstochowa region”.

 


We opened new Łódź Fabryczna station

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At the invitation of Łódź Agglomeration Railway we took part on 11th December in the opening day of the new Łódź Fabryczna station. Contrary to our expectation, the event finalizing this gigantic project was rather casual, without official fete. It took as a while to reach the ŁKA Passenger Information Centre – due to our historical uniforms, many people could not resist the opportunity to take a photo with a railwayman in unique uniform.

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The project started on 8th March 2011, when City Council of Łódź, PKP SA, PKP PLK SA and Minister of Infrastructure signed the agreement regarding the cooperation of the city and railway companies in rebuilding the station Łódź Fabryczna and its surroundings. Costs of the project were estimated to 2 billion PLN, where PKP PLK S.A. was to cover 73% of the costs, City of Łódź – 24% and PKP S.A. – 3%. On 24th May 2011 a consortium of contractors was appointed by PKP PLK S.A.: Torpol, Astaldi, PUT INTERCOR and Roads and Bridges Building Company from Mińsk Mazowiecki. Agreement with contractors was signed on 18th August 2011 and on 15th October the last train left the old station. Łódź Fabryczna disappeared from timetables for a couple of years. Initially, it was estimated that new station will be ready before 28th February 2015.

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In June 2012 demolition of the old station was completed, on 13th September excavation works began. In May 2014 pouring of the new station foundations started 16 meters below the surface. 3 months later assembly of the glass roof began and proceeded till May 2015. At that point it was announced that works will be delayed till the end of 2016. By the end of 2015 all track laying works were completed in the tunnel approach to the station and the first train arrived at the building site. From 29th November 2016 railway operators were allowed for test runs and route recognition. The new station was approved for operation on 9th December 2016 and 2 days later it was opened for passengers. Still, finish works will be continued till the end of 2017.

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Despite some parts of the new station are not yet fully operational, the station can be already considered a huge success of all people engaged in this project. It is also a major step forward for Łódź, which at last have a proper modern transportation junction with a pleasant architecture. We only hope that soon the new Łódź Fabryczna station will become a terminal station for numerous railway connections with other Polish cities, just like during the good old days.

It’s only a pity that nothing was left after the old station, that, despite its neglected state, was a listed building. It is a matter of discussion if there were conditions to save the old building. Yet, it is worth noting that new station has freed itself from the urban constraints squeezing the railway infrastructure in the dense city centre area. Additionally, the example of Łódź once again proved that a success of a major railway project is always the matter of good cooperation between railway companies and local governments. Definitely new Łódź Fabryczna station will become a prominent symbol of the city, similarly to Warsaw Central Station.


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.