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.

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