2016

First subsidies for renovation in Skierniewice Shed – help us collect the initial capital

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March is the beginning of struggle with tax settlements, therefore we would like to encourage you to share your 1% of income tax to our Association. As in the previous years, collected money will be turned into the initial capital required when applying for public subsidies. We already managed to successfully apply for four subsidies. Part have been already paid to Association’s account, part waits for the final signatures and part requires a couple of last documents to finish the procedure.

Two most important subsidies are sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and will be devoted for the repairs of another 612 square meters of roundhouse roof and first stage of skylight rebuild. Unfortunately, the required initial capital is much higher then we expected. For the 190 thousand PLN applied, we need 47 thousand PLN of own capital. Nevertheless the amount will let us bring to the end the repairs of roundhouse roof leaving only the skylight to be completed.

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First subsidy of the Ministry (90000 PLN) for the task Skierniewice Engine Shed – roundhouse (19th century): continuation of rebuild of damaged roof (stands 15-23). The task includes repairs of another part of main Shed building over the stands 15 to 23 (total area of 612 sq. m). The repairs requires a complete replacement of wooden parts of the roof and laying a double layer of felt.

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Second subsidy of the Ministry (100000 PLN) for the task Skierniewice Engine Shed – roundhouse (19th century): continuation of rebuild of damaged roof (skylight over stands 1-3). For the first time we will be able to repair the large skylight spanning the whole length of the roundhouse. Thanks to that, the roof over stands 1 to 3 will be complete (this part of the roof underwent overhaul in the previous years). We are especially happy that the most precious exhibits from our collection (especially the battery unit Wittfeld) will be protected against the rain and snow.

We also received the subsidy from City Council of Skierniewice. We were granted 6500 PLN (required initial capital 1625 PLN) for the task Adaptation of historical buildings for museum and cultural purposes. This amount will be devoted for the tracks relaying within the premises of Engine Shed. Another subsidy, sponsored by BZ WBK Bank Found, will be devoted for Technical Education Workshops (we write more about that here).

Totaling, we still need over 50000 PLN of initial capital, and there are new subsidy applications to come. We also encourage various institutions and companies to help us collect the required money.


Invitation to Technical Education Workshop

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We have a new offer directed to youth in age from 15 to 26 years. Thanks to the support of the project Technical Education as a promotion of volunteering for railway heritage in Skierniewice Engine Shed by BZ WBK Foundation young people can once again take part in common project. By learning new technical skills, participants will help in rescue of unique historical railway stock. A great convenience for participants of the project will be the refund of costs of travel to and from Skierniewice.

We start at the turn of April and May. We will inform in advance about the precise dates of meetings and their topics. We can already tell that except the practical activities, we plan to conduct lectures regarding the outline of railway history and methods of restoration of historical rolling stock. A technical training in theory and practice will be performed during the actual renovation works. This will include metalworking, carpentry and painting. We especially put emphasis on teaching the safety rules of power tools usage.

Despite there are still two month to the first session of the Workshop, we already encourage all interested to contact us at wolontariat@psmk.org.pl.

 


After the touristic fairs

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From 26th to 28th February, as each year, we participated in touristic fairs in Łódź – Where Cultures Meet – and promoted the value of the historical Depo in Skierniewice and its collection. One could meet our colleagues at Shed’s stand, talk with them about the oncoming touristic season and receive promotional leaflets with Open Days calendar. For us it was also the opportunity to refresh old and establish new contact. We hope that new acquaintances will result in interesting joint projects.


Expanding the railway communication exhibition

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During the last weekend (20th and 21st February) we started the long awaited stage of assembling of railway communication exhibition. As the first exhibits two racks of carrier telephony of system 3×12 were mounted on their place. One is the telephone line terminating rack, second will contain the splitters. More racks wait for their turn.

Nowadays, when digital technology dominated the communication, this type of equipment is nearly forgotten. However, it was a major jump in telephonic communication, allowing multichannel use of a single line, increasing its capacity and allowing for easier access to long-distance calls.

In time of Warsaw-Vienna Railroad and the beginnings of Polish State Railways, in order to phone from Warsaw to Skierniewice (note, that it was the first telephone line in Poland, built only a couple of years after the first phone call made by A. G. Bell) dsc_0073 plenty of resources were required. A single pair of wires (nearly 16 tons of bronze) was suspended over 1400 massive wooden poles by means of 2800 purpose-made porcelain insulators and over 3 tons of steel hooks and clamps. Despite the effort required to built the line, it allowed only one call at a time. If the capacity of line was to be increased, the amount of resources multiplied, giving enormous amounts of wood, steel and china. Fortunately, in the early 1930’s the first systems of multichannel telephony stopped the menace of hundreds of wires suspended on each telephone line and made a long-distance call much easier.

 


Invitation to Łódź

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As each year, between 26th and 28th February we will take part in Touristic Fairs in Łódź – Where Cultures Meet. This is one of two such events in which we participate regularly to promote the value of Skierniewice Engine Shed and its railway collection.

The fairs will take place in Expo Hall at Politechniki Alley 4 in Łódź. This time you can find us at a modest but our own stand (number 106). We would like to invite all interested to meet with us during those three days of Fairs.

 

XIX Targi Turystyczne, stoisko PSMK


Harsh winter…

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Despite the forecast thaw, last Saturday (23rd January) was exceptional cold. For the whole weekend temperature hardly exceeded 10 degrees below zero. Freezing cold combined with bright winter sun decorated every roof edge of Shed’s buildings with beautiful icicles.

Despite the frost, we did not gave up and run our errands in the shed.

On Saturday the floor of the future telephonic exchange room has been dusted and washed. Next, heavy-duty linoleum has been fitted and cut to the size of the room. For the next week it will be settling down under the pressure of heavy beams to facilitate refitting and glueing it on place.

 


Under snow blanket…

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Winter and all its attributes, snow and frost, slows down the activities in Skierniewice’s Shed. Work in cold is not easy. Multilayer clothing restricts movements and even gloved hands stiffen in contact with metal parts and tools. Even an after work wash-up may be unpleasant. Hot tea quickly gains the quality of a poor cold drink and an instant soup, when unattended becomes a cold cream.

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Yet, there are moments when winter sights rewards for the inconveniences.
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Fresh snow and sharp winter sunlight allows one to view the Shed from a different perspective. White coat covers everything hiding the flaws. Trees and rolling stock receive their own white blanket. Sun uncovers the long forgotten nooks.
One can also learn that we are not the only hosts of the Shed. The snow gives away all secrets – multiple trails of all more or less domestic animals.


Flat-rate taxpayers, remember about us when settling with IRS!

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The end of January is the usual time of settling the taxes for flat-rate taxpayers. This is why we would already like to remind you of the possibility of donating your 1% of income tax to PARE.

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Why would you support exactly us? Because we are doing our best to multiply the received money for the good of technical heritage. In 2015:

  • We received over 27 thousand PLN from 1% donation.
  • Using the above money as initial capital, we received 100 thousand PLN of subsidies for rebuilding and refurbishing of the Shed’s buildings.
  • Another 19 thousand PLN was provided by the sponsors for works connected with rolling stock.

Thanks to the resources received from 1% donation, subsidies of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the City Council of Skierniewice and sponsors like Freightliner PL and PKP Cargo:

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  • We rebuilt the oldest part of the roundhouse – the so-called Łowicz annexe. The works included reconstruction of ceilings and roof. In the future this part will be housing the new interactive railway signaling exhibition.
  • We saved the unique American tank car from 1944.
  • We continued the works by the refrigerator car and class Ol49-4 steam engine.

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And for what we will devote the 1% donation received in 2016? Similarly to the previous years it will become the initial capital for subsidies for renovation works – we intend to finish the repairs of roundhouse roof and start rebuilding the skylight. We will also continue the ongoing rolling stock renovation works.

If you would like to support us you only need to provide in your PIT tax form the KRS number of our organization 0000216091 and the donated amount. Each, even the smallest, help will be gladly appreciated -thank you!


2015

Merry Christmas

We would like to wish all the best to members, volunteers, supporters and fans of PARE on the occasion of coming Christmas

May this exceptional time fill you hearts with comfort and hope, and let you overcome even the biggest of obstacles.

Zima w Parowozowni


Preparing new location for historical telephonic exchange.

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While expanding the railway communication exhibition (which includes recreating the “Einheitbasa” railway exchange) we spend the last summer and beginning of autumn on building a final piece of equipment in future exhibition rooms – a masonry stove.

The stove will play a double role of an exhibit and actual heating device. The youngest visitors will witness that several decades ago it was a typical situation that right next to the precise and modern (as for its times) equipment, a primitive but effective device provided the heat for men and dry air for machines. A masonry stove requires lots of troublesome maintenance, yet the atmosphere created by it is irreplaceable by any modern heating device.

Similarly to the first stove built in 2013, we reused the tiles and materials from heaters which we recovered from Warszawa-Stalowa station before its demolishing in 1996.

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After rebuilding, the stove required a couple of weeks to dry. Together with the first cold days it underwent the first heating tests. The result was satisfactory – it can now provide us heat during the winter as we will assemble the remaining equipment. In photos we present the first stage of stove building and the final result.

As the stove was drying, we took our time to resurface the floors. Thankfully, the original floor was not damaged in any way so a thin layer of concrete was enough to obtain leveled surface required for linoleum. We also fitted sockets and light switches made of beautiful brow bakelite – also saved from now nonexistent post-railway buildings. We want that every detail of the surroundings of the exchange corresponds to the epoch of the normal use of this type of exchange.

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The last stage of the adaptation works was replacement of the bars in one of the window. The old one, made around 1980’s presented the most sloppy of welding jobs we have ever seen. A new one is better fitted to the widow frame and corresponds to the shape of bars in neighboring windows.

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As the adaptation works reached their end we can start the long-awaited process of assembling the exchange. The cabinets with long-range carriers amplifiers will be placed as first. Devices, which awaits assembling, were produced in early 1970’s in former GDR by VEB Rundfunk- und Fernmelde-Technik (RFT) in Leipzig and Bautzen, as well as by the State Telecommunication Works in Warsaw. The equipment was reclaimed form the railway exchanges of the Central Railway District.