100 years ago…


While completing the iconography for the upcoming exhibition regarding the Warsaw-Vienna Railway history, our colleague Paweł Mierosławski has found a very interesting photo.

The picture was taken exactly 100 years ago – on 28th April 1915 – in front of still undamaged side of the Warsaw-Vienna Railawy wagon works in Skierniewice (part of this site was blown up in 1914 from the east side). In front of the building, the troops from 49th Reserve Battalion are unloading from the train the requisitioned living stock. A typical sight somewhere behind the front line.

Yet, the typical supply trains were not the only guests at stations in Skierniewice and Łowicz. Transports full of special gas munition arrived soon from Germany (this ordnance was utilized in January and February 1915 at the front line near Bolimów, Humin and Mogiły). Several days after this photo was taken, the 36th Engineering Regiment reached Skierniewice, togeteher with a payload of 12 thousand cylinders containing 264 tonnes of compressed chlorine. Cylinders were placed on the stabilized sections of the front line, between Tartak Bolimowski and Białynin.

The gas attack took place in the early morning, 31st May 1915. According to different sources, between 9 and 11 thousand Russian soldiers and unknown number of civilians succumbed to the gas. The choking stench of chlorine was spread for tens of kilometers by a westward wind.

The nearby towns, especially Żyrardów, turned into hell. There was no help for the gas victims.

Subsequent attacks took place on 12th June and at night, from 6th to 7th July 1915. The June’s attack results were so shocking for the Prussian troops, that they attempted to rescue the victims from the opposing army.

Those, who would like to learn more about those attacks that surpassed the use of chemical weapons in the battle of Ypres, can read more in the article by Paweł Rożdżestwieński “The Battle of Rawka and Bzura” (Polish only).

Beginning of the 11th touristic season in Skierniewice Engine Shed

Lipcowy Dzień Otwarty 2012, prezentacja taboru

We would like to invite you to the first in this year Open Day in Engine Shed, which will take place on Saturday, 2nd May from 11AM to 3PM. During the Open Day one can familiarize with the history of Skierniewice’s Engine Shed and its collection. The tours are led by the guide dressed in the historical railway uniform. This year a surprise awaits the visitors – the lengthened sightseeing route inside the biggest building in the engine shed complex – the roundhouse from 1862-1942 where much of the PARE rolling-stock collection is placed. The admission to the larger portion of the roundhouse was possible thanks to the extensive roof repairs sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Łódź Voivodship’s Office and the assets from 1% of income tax.

Except the collection inside the roundhouse, visitors can see other exhibitions:

  • steam engines tools and maintenance equipment,
  • railway workshop with old machine tools still in working order,
  • smithy with original equipment,
  • railway traffic safety and signal box equipment.

Visiting groups enter at 11AM, 12AM, 1PM and 2PM.

Free admission!

New touristic season is coming

Przygotowania do sezonu 2015 - porządkowanie trawników

It’s Spring! Longer and warmer days encourage the volunteers of PARE to visit the engine shed more frequently. During the last weeks, the rebuild of beer refrigerator car have sped up. We’ve also broaden the scope of works required before the admission of the first guests during the coming, 11th touristic season in Engine Shed. Lawns are now free of the autumn leafs. The main workshop has been cleared of the parts of salvaged railway devices and frames. On the walls, we’ve hung vintage boards with safety and efficiency slogans dating back to People’s Republic. We have also cleaned the surroundings of the roundhouse from leftovers from last year’s roof repairs. We also prepared the new, longer sightseeing route inside the roundhouse.

Przygotowania do sezonu 2015 - porządkowanie na hali Przygotowania do sezonu 2015 - porządkowanie na hali 2 podgotowka05

Subsidy for renovation of the oldest part of roundhouse

For the whole March and part of April, we have collected the required documents and then appointed the contractor to conduct the works by the oldest (1862-1865) part of the Shed. These activities were crucial to sign the subsidy agreement with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. For the planned works we will be assigned 100 000 PLN. Currently we are waiting for the finalization of the agreement. We plan to start the works right after the first Open Days!

przybudowka_belki widok-ogolny-i-rusztowanie

Another stage of refrigerator car rebuild

We devote each free moment of our activity to the works by the beer refrigerator car from 1912. During the previous weeks we managed to cut the planks for all external walls (except the part where entrance is placed – this will be accomplished in further stages of works).

Piwiarka - ściany bez A   Piwiarka - ściany z A

Currently we are milling the planks so they will fit the outer frame and form with it a single, even surface. As we have no milling machine, we substituted it with prepared drill press. Surprisingly, this arrangement run without fault


We are still collecting any documentation regarding beer refrigerator cars. As for now, we still did not find the blueprints of our particular car. Therefore, to find best solutions, we collect so called blatts – blueprints of cars of similar construction, especially of Austrian origin. This time, with help come the branch of Rzeszów’s National Archive in Sanok, where in the complex of the former L. Zieleniewski railway works one can find vast documents regarding many railway vehicles.

Skierniewice Engine Shed on Touristic Fairs „Where Cultures Meet”

Na styku kultur - latarnie

From 13th to 15th March we participated in the 21st fairs – Touristic Sites “Where Cultures Meet”. This time we were invited by the City Council of Skierniewice to join their representatives on a common stand. The invitation was not accidental. The promotion of the Town upon Łupia river took into account the 170th anniversary of the arrival of the first Warsaw-Vienna Railroad’s train to Skierniewice. What is worth noting, this first train was a sightseeing trip for Railroad officials.

We were happy to have Mr. Witold Stępień the Marshall of Łódź Voivodeship, Mrs. Jolanta Chełmińskathe Voivode of Łódź Voivodeship and Senator Ryszard Bonisławski – the outstanding expert on Łódź cultural heritage as our guests. It was a good opportunity to present our latest achievements and talk about Association’s plans for the nearest future.

Na styku kultur z maraszałkiem W. Stępniem Na styku kultur z senatorem R. Bonisławskim

Of course, we were also visited by countless guests of the fairs, whom we encouraged to visit our engine shed during the upcoming Open Days. The youngest visitors were really intrigued with the railway exhibits on our stand.

Na styku kultur - stoisko cieszyło się wielkim zainteresowaniem odwiedzających Na styku kultur - z dzieckiem

Na styku kultur - pokaz mody kolejowej

The last, but the most interesting point of our participation in the fairs was the improvised by the organizers railway uniform fashion show. Our colleagues dressed in historical uniforms from 1960-1970 period took part in it together with our friends form Rogów-Rawa-Biała Narrow Gauge Railway. The contemporary uniforms, derived from the old ones we’ve shown, were presented by the employees of Przewozy Regionalne. It is only a pity, that the representatives of the youngest railway operator in Łódź Voivodship – Łódzka Kolej Aglomeracyjna – could not take part in this event.

Those, who could not participate in the fairs, can watch a short video from this event:

Na styku kultur - ekipa stoiska

We would like to thank to all the guests, who visited during those three days the stand of PARE and Skierniewice’s City Council. We would like to express our gratitude to the Skierniewice’s authorities for their invitation to participate together in the fairs. We do hope that we’ve managed to encourage our guests to visit the town upon Łupia river and to drop in the Shed at Łwoicka Street 1. See you on the next fairs next year.

To all those eager to visit the Shed, we remind that Open Days start on 2nd May.

This year’s first subsidy agreement signed!

Rozbiórka dachu hali wachlarzowej

In the beginning of March we have signed the first in this year subsidy agreement. The City President of Skierniewice has assigned a support of 7000 PLN at the open bid for public interest organizations to the task “Adaptation of historical Engine Shed buildings to the museum and cultural purposes”. The project’ total worth is 8750 PLN  – the remaining amount are the own assets required by the bid. It will be devoted to prepare the technical documentation vital for further repairs of the Shed’s facilities.

Leave your 1% in Skierniewice


Under such motto the city council will encourage the citizens of the town upon Łupia river to donate their 1% of income tax to the public organizations based in Skierniewice. On this occasion a special event in which all of Skierniewice’s organizations will take part is planned on 7th March, from 11AM to 2PM on the Market Square. Of course, we will be there too. After all, the major part of the PARE’s activities take place in this city. We will be represented by our colleagues dressed in historical railway uniforms. They will not only encourage the event participants to support our association but also to visit the Engine Shed.

Traces of Warsaw-Vienna Railroad

On the occasion of the International Tour Guide Day, which took place on 21st February, 25 different walks around Warsaw’s historical places were organized by the Council of City Guides PTTK, Varsaviana foundation, KORT TPW branch and Guides Warsaw association. One of the tours was devoted to the Warsaw-Vienna Railroad.

Oddech wiedenki Złota-59 Marek Moczulski, graduate of former Railway School in Warsaw, lighted candles under the memorial stone.

Participants of the tour met at Jerozolimskie Avenue by the Warszawa Śródmieście station. In this place, 170 years ago a terminal station of the railway (Dworzec Wiedeński) was build. First train to Grodzisk departed from here on 14th June 1845. Another point of the walk was the St. Barbara chapel and the church of St. Peter and Paul by Nowogrodzka Street 51. In 1865, the chapel was renewed by the Railroad employees and became their parish church. Participants of the walk visited the place, where in 1873, the board of Warsaw-Vienna railroad created the training workshop – the ancestor of now defunct Railroad School in Warsaw. The workshop was located till 1953 by Chmielewska Street 88. A memorial stone sponsored by the graduates of the school in 1998 marks the original location of the facility.

A former workshops of the Railroad were also visited. Their erection began in 1852. Part of the complex was a building at Chmielna Street 73, demolished in 2013. The tenement by Pańska Street 100 had more luck – it survived two wars, rebuild of the city, changing governments and building of the nearby underground line.

The walk concluded at… “Siberia”. It’s the nickname of the large area of warehouses, sidings and utility buildings of the former Warsaw-Vienna Railroad goods station, originating back in 1875. The buildings by the Kolejowa Street 8/10 accommodates now countless clubs, car dealers and wholesales. Probably thanks to that, the old walls survived till today being one of the last remnants of the great Railroad.

Oddech wiedenki Syberia-2   Oddech wiedenki Syberia-3

The tour was guided by our colleagues Andrzej Paszke, Zbigniew Tucholski and Marek Moczulski.