2018

Class Tp3-36 back on track

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One of our steam engines – class Tp3-36 – was serving as a stationary monument in Zbąszynek, far away from Skierniewice. A matter of distance seriously restricted our control over the engine. Due to the lack of fund for the purpose, we were not able to relocate it to the Shed. Fortunately, a couple of months ago, a branch of Polish Army Museum – the Museum of Armoured Arms – become interested in the engine. The museum is preparing a new exhibition and is looking for a locomotive typical for the Greater Poland area during the early years of inter-war period.

Soon we were contacted and started talking about the future fate of the locomotive. On 22nd February the engine was moved on the tracks of Zbąszynek station and carefully shunted to the shed of Koleje Wielkopolskie, where it will undergo an external renovation. The feat was possible thanks to the invaluable help of Koleje Wielkopolskie and PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A.. It was also a great opportunity for the crews of Emergency Trains from Poznań and Zielona Góra to exercise a re-railing of a vehicle. Once the renovation will be completed, the engine will be transported to the museum in Poznań. It will become a deposit-exhibit of our Shed.

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Photo: D. Kiper, J. Czerwiński

We would like to express our gratitude to all involved in the relocation and our colleagues from Średzka Kolej Dojazdowa, who helped in preparation of the engine for relocation.


More parts for the block signal box frame

Despite the winter wind howling in most parts of the Shed, the signalling division of the association is at work. As you may recall from the previous post, we are currently renovating a small lever frame from a block signal box (built 1949). Every other weekend there are new parts added to it. This time it took us one Saturday to repair the electrical switches. You can see the switches before and after the process on the below pictures. Also, check out how the renovation was progressing ona short movie on our YouTube channel.

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We become the honorary ambassador of Skierniewice

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Once again 25 years of activity of our Association has been distinguished (the first time was the last year’s Steam Engine of Culture prize to our colleague Judyta Kurowska-Ciechańska). Thanks to the nomination by the people of Skierniewice we were appointed the Honorary Ambassador of Skierniewice. On 19th February, during the gala on the occasion of 561st anniversary of granting the town rights to Skierniewice, we received the honourable mention from the President of City of Skierniewice, Mr Krzysztof Jażdżyk. Apart from one company from Skierniewice we were the only legal entity to receive such prize. Thank you!

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Railway exhibits await your 1%

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The end of the January is the time for the flat-tax payers to report to the tax office and soon the other tax payers will do the same after receiving their PIT-11 forms. This is also the time when we would like to ask you to support us with your 1% of income tasks.

Why is it worth to support us? We use the money received from the 1% as the own capital required to receive other funding actually multiplying its worth. Thanks to that we managed to accomplish the following in 2017:

  • 26 194,90 PLN received from 1%,
  • 22 000 PLN received from the Łódź Voivodeship’s Conservationist Office for the roundhouse roof repairs above stands 12 and 13,
  • 26 250 PLN received from the Council of Łódź Voivodeship for the renovation of the pump house.
  • 14 500 PLN received from the City Council of Skierniewice for track repairs.
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Additionally, thanks to the support of the National Board of Heritage we organized a series of Volunteers Camps during which:

  • we continued the renovation of the steam engine class Ol49-4,
  • started rust-proofing of the engine class Ty51-1,
  • continued upkeep of the Shed’s surroundings,
  • repainted the turntable and the fence surrounding the Shed,
  • prepare new exhibits for the exhibition of railway signalling.

How we will spend the 1% in 2018? Similarly to previous years, it will become the basis of the own capital required to receive further subsidies – mostly devoted for repairs of buildings. We would like to remind, that renovation of buildings is the first stage to our target which is the complete historical train in a working order. We will also continue the work by the rolling stock (class Ol49-4, TKp 6042) and the signal box equipment on the signalling exhibition.

To support us, remember to provide our KRS number 0000216091 on your PIT tax form and the pledged amount. Thank you!


First donation in 2018

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On 18th January results of the financing competition for non-profit organizations were revealed. We are happy to report that we were granted 20 000 PLN for the most urgent tasks regarding the maintenance of the tracks in the Shed. This amount will be increased by at least 5 000 PLN of own capital. We will start the works with the beginning of March and target the tracks leading to the turntable and the main track out of the shed.

We would like to express our gratitude to the city council. Soon we will provide more details to all those willing to help us in track repairs.


Summarizing the crowd-funding

As promised, we would like to summarize the crowd-funding which helped us finance the own capital for the repair of the roundhouse’s roof above stands 12 and 13. Just as reminder, the funding received from the Łódź Voivodeship Conservationist Office amounted in 22 000 PLN.

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Total spendings were:

  • 11 042,77 PLN – invoiced for the roof repairs,
  • 861 PLN – construction inspection,
  • 220,37 PLN – crowd-funding operational costs.

Total: 12 124,14 PLN.

Received donations were:

  • 7450 PLN – direct donations by PARE members or their relatives,
  • 1013,07 PLN – direct donations by individuals not related with PARE,
  • 6666 PLN – received from zrzutka.pl crowd-funding (6445,63 PLN without the above mentioned provision).

Total: 14 908,70 PLN nett (15 129,07 PLN gross).

The exceeding 3004,93 PLN will be devoted to other ongoing renovation works and to purchase the give-aways to the participants of the crowd-funding.

We would like to thank to all the supporters, especially the barrister’s office Duda Wasilewska Adwokaci sp.p., authors of railway law-related blog www.kolejnaprawo.pl. Soon we will contact you in regards of the give-aways.

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2017

Summarizing the year

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Similarly to the previous season, we would like to summarize the passing year and take the opportunity to pass our gratitude to the Volunteers and Sponsors without whose help, the results of our work would be much more modest.

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As in the previous years, a primary concern for us was the renovation of the historical buildings. 2017 was less spectacular in this area. The main highlight was receiving the funding to start the renovation of the old pump house. The works were financed by the Council of the Łódź Voivodeship with the amount of 26 250 PLN and allowed us to rebuild the portion of the roof. The work totalled to 43 013,21 PLN thanks to the money from 1% of income tax for 2016.

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A pleasant surprise awaited us in the end of the year. Thanks to the funding by the Łódź Voivodeship’s Conservationist Office in the amount of 22 000 PLN we were able to complete the roof reconstruction above the most damaged parts of roundhouse roof above stands 12 and 13. Again, we had to back-up the financing with own capital in amount of 11 000 PLN. This time, due to limited budged, we needed to resource to the donations made by members of PARE, our fans and a crowdfunding via zrzutka.pl portal.

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A record-breaking financing from the city council of Skierniewice (14 500 PLN) was devoted for the track works. Thanks to it, we were able to buy some reused concrete track ties and pay for their transport. A ballast was provided for free by a sponsor. This time we passed on manual labour and facilitated the hardest work (ties laying, resurfacing track base) with a rented backhoe loader.

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We continued the projects aiming at developing the volunteers initiative in the Engine Shed. Thanks to the support of the National Board of Heritage (17 600 PLN), as a part of programme “Volunteering for Heritage”, we organized eight volunteers camps, during which participants helped up in the upkeep of the Shed’s surroundings, repainted the fence and the turntable and helped us in the renovation works by the engines class Ol49-4, Ty51-1 and TKp 6042. As a part of the programme, we also prepared new, multilingual promotional leaflets.

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Summarizing the financial aspects of our activity, we managed to collect over 80 000 PLN for the renovation works. Therefore, we nearly tripled the amount received from 1% of income tax (26 000 PLN).

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Due to the time-consuming track works and turntable repainting, we did not devoted as much time for rolling stock repairs. In 2017 we finished the paint job by the steam engines class Ol49-4 and TKp 6042 “Śląsk”. We also started rust-proofing the class Ty51-1 displayed outdoors.

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Malowanie podstawy

In 2017 we also intensified activities concerning the exhibition of railway signalling and traffic equipment. We gave a new life to an old block device with key interlocking brought from the station Gawrony. Years of service and subsequent storage in unfavourable conditions left the device in a sorry state. Thankfully, it was intact inside and is still operational. With a lot of effort put into cleaning, repainting and repairing the wooden parts, the device is again pleasant to the eyes.

Czyszczenie korpusu aparatu Malowanie pokryw Tabliczki blokowe

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We continued to expand the railway telecommunication exposition by preparing a third room for this purpose. Initially, it was housing the small portion of the Siemens exchange. After moving it to the target place, the room will be re-purposed to display two Polish-built town exchanges of type FT-200 (Strowger system) and CK-20 (crossbar system). We thought that it will not take much effort but there were plenty of “surprises” that expanded the renovation time line to nearly a year.

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This year we did not managed to break the attendance record finishing with a 5555 visitors crossing the gates of the Shed. We guess that this was due to two factors. First of all, unfavourable weather nearly halved the number of guests during the usually most busy time which is the Skierniewice’s Festival of Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables. Second, there were much less events addressed to the fans of vintage cars which we used to host. The biggest event was the 30th anniversary of PARE which was attended by 546 guests.

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On behalf of the members and volunteers of PARE, we would like to express our gratitude to all sponsors and supporters.

Supported PARE in 2017:

Łódzki Wojewódzki Konserwator Zabytków logo_promuje_lodzkie Urząd Miasta Skierniewice logo_bsskierniewice_biale-tlo_web NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA castorama www.profitechnik.pl 1 procent podatku


New exhibition room for telephonic exchange type FT-200 and CK-20

The end of the year is always a good moment to sum up completed tasks and missed opportunities. It is especially worthwhile, when the end of a major project coincides with the break of the years.

Such coincidence was the final of the brickwork and plastering of the third room of future telecommunication exhibition. The room, a former workshop dressing room, was hosting a small portion of the Siemens exchange, partially assembled for the exhibition purposes. After moving the device to a new exhibition room, we decided to adapt the room for yet another part of the exhibition, this time with Polish-built exchanges type FT-200 (for town use, with Strowger selectors) and CK-20 (railway type, with crossbar selectors).

When emptying the room on Fall 2016, we expected the renovation to be quick and easy. At the first glance, we just needed to repair the plaster around the new holes for cables, check the smoke ducts and paint the walls. Unfortunately, the reality was more “screeching”…

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A closer inspection of the elaborate smoke ducts built back during the II World War concluded with a decision to dismantle them. Horizontal smoke channels consisted of draughty moulders that had to be chiselled off of the ceiling. We were aware that the work will be dusty but the reality went beyond our expectations. Despite the thorough cleaning of the channels, each struck of the hammer resulted with ton of rubble and even more of soot. We hoped that a natural draft will blow out the dust through the window, but after first opening of the door we ended up cleaning the corridor from the soot as far as to the main workshop. Another attempt, this time with the use of a fan standing in the window, provided more bearable conditions of work – the black cloud of dust and soot was reaching the tops of the trees. After plenty of effort and strain, new acid-proof metal ducts were put in place, resulting in much improved draft in the masonry heaters in adjoining rooms.

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After dealing with the ceiling we looked down on the floor. Half of the room was suspiciously uneven, as if someone was pouring down the concrete in stages and did not bother to level the surface. Once again we employed hammers and chisels to get rid of this botch job. First hit of the hammer resulted with a dull sound proving that the top layer of the floor is not properly fixed to the foundations. It appeared that concrete was poured on a piece of a particle board, under which we made a pleasant discovery. After removing the last pieces of wood and rubble, we unearthed a proper and smooth terrazzo floor.

Another stages of the work were devoted to closer inspection of walls. We were worried about a strange hump on one of the walls. Careful knocks revealed empty space. Once again we had to resort to an unplanned demolition. The old plaster was peeling off in large pieces as it was hardly affixed to the wall. Whomever was plastering the room many, many years ago, did not bothered to remove the previous, already damaged and falling off plaster. Initially planned to be small, the renovation started to look more and more impressive… and expensive. Still it was a good opportunity to take care of the electric installation which was in a sorry state. After the assembly of new circuit hidden in insulated plastic pipes, we were ready to conclude the plastering.

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Quite unexpectedly, a renovation of a relatively small room took us, with breaks, over 11 months. The culmination of the work was to put a stove to dry the walls. Once everything is dry, we can progress to finishing jobs like hanging a false ceiling to hide the new smoke ducts, resurface the walls and paint them. The last stage will be building of yet another masonry heater.


Merry Christmass

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May the magic of Christmass Eve bring you peace and hapiness.

May each moment of Christmass fill all hearts with love and kindness

and a New Year bring new perspectives and dreams.

All the best wish you the Board, Members and Volunteers of Polish Association of Railway Enthusiasts


Further renovations at the signalling exhibition

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Every day it’s getting colder outside. The low temperature remains also in an unheated space of the railway signalling and traffic control exhibition. Nevertheless, this fact did not discouraged us from continuing the work on renovation of yet another exhibit. This time we took care after the small lever frame from an intermediate signal box, yet another product of the former Railway Signal Works in Kraków (Państwowa Wytwórnia Sygnałów i Urządzeń Kolejowych). It’s one of the simplest standarized frames consisting of only two levers to control the block signals, very simple interlocking and a four-division block instrument. After completing the renovation, the frame will be prepared to cooperate with other devices from the exhibition, which are already in a working order.

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