The end of the year

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It is a high time to look back at the passing year and summarize our achievements. Before that however, we would like to express our gratitude to all Volunteers and Sponsors, without whom, our activity would be much more modest.

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Our main focus is still bringing back to shape buildings and surroundings of the engine shed. In 2018 we kept up the pace of renovation works for which we spent nerly 110 thousand PLN. The most expensive were the repairs of the roundhouse roof, this time above stands № 21, 22 and 23, which took 94 751,49 PLN out of our budget. 33 151,49 PLN was the own capital received from the 1% of the income tax and the sponsorship by Freightliner PL in the amount of 20 thousand PLN. This amount become the basis for the support financing from the Council of the Łódź Voivodeship with the amount of 61 600,00 PLN. We also had to carry out emergency repairs of the leaking roof of the main workshop which took another 13 thousand PLN out of the 1% budget.

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A record-breaking donation by the City Council of Skierniewice (20 thousand PLN) received in 2018 was fully devoted for the maintenance of shed’s track network. Thanks to the accumulated reserves of ties and fittings we were able to reconstruct the most degraded sections of tracks № 12 and 13 leading from turntable to the roundhouse. Thanks to the financial support we were able to rent a backhoe loader which effectively sped up re-lying the ballast and placing a heavy concrete ties on place.

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We continued the projects aiming to develop the volunteering in the Engine Shed. Thanks to the support of the National Heritage Board (15 thousand PLN) as a part of the programme Together for Heritage, we organized 5 editions of the volunteers camps, during which the participants helped us in the upkeep of the shed’s surroundings. This year we focused on tidying up the old coal storage – removing the overgrown self-seeders and renovation of the fence and gates. Due to the programme’s contractual limitations, sadly we had to put aside the renovations of the steam engines.

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In 2017 we initiated an extensive renovation works at the signalling exhibition. We continued this work through 2018 thanks to the support received from the programme You decide – we help by Tesco (3 thousand PLN). The main aim is to bring back to life new exhibits and improve the general look of the exhibition. Our efforts focused on a complete and thorough renovation of the lever frame of a block post and repairing one of the light signals. We also prepared new boards describing the exhibits and principles of their operation. We also supplemented our collection of railway signs and indicators with brand new examples of contemporary signs. The donation was also a good opportunity to equip the small workshop of the exhibition with new power tools.

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During 2018 we enlarged our collection of rolling stock. The PKP Energetyka S.A. donated us a renovated and repainted line maintenance vehicle of class SR71-04. The only cost we had to cover were the expenses related to the transport of the vehicle by road from Dąbrowa Górnicza Strzemieszyce to Skierniewice. The amount of 7995,00 PLN was quickly assembled thanks to traditional collection, crowd-funding via zrzutka.pl and individual donation by the PKP Group and Silesia Transport.

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To sum up, we received a total of 125 thousand PLN for the renovation works of the Shed. This means that we managed to multiply the amount received from the 1% of the income tax charity (32 thousand PLN) nearly fourfold.

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This year was less spectacular in the field of the rolling stock renovation. We completed a small fitting works by the class Ol49-4. We also continued cleaning and rust-proofing the class Ty51-1 which is still placed outside of the roundhouse. Those works were completed thanks to the money left from the 1% charity and the own budget of the association.

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We continued the expansion of the telecommunication exhibition by adapting a third room for this purpose. Unfortunately, the scope of the works requires to continue the job into 2019. Despite the winter cold, we are able to work further as the exhibition’s rooms are heating with new masonry stoves. At the moment we devote our time to painstakingly fit the cable gantries and prepare the cable inlets to the main cross-board. We also refurbished and put on its place a test box by Tesla (Czechoslovakia).

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In terms of number of visitors, 2018 shown a stabilizing trend of around 5800 visitors a year. It is a little bit less then in previous two years (6100 visitors on average) but there were a couple of factors that contributed to this. First, the Night of Museums, is becoming visibly less popular, which is a general trend across the country. Second, there was a smaller number of vintage vehicles events in the vicinity of Skierniewice. The shed is usually an important stage of such events or even hosts the entire event.

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Last but not least, we have to mention the fate of some of the exhibits outside of the shed, namely the class Tp3-36. The engine was placed as a monument outside of the Zbąszynek station. Due to the lack of funds and fairly safe condition for the vehicle, so far we didn’t decided to relocate the steam engine to Skierniewice. In the end of 2017, we were contacted by the Museum of Armoured Warfare in Poznań. The board of the museum wanted to expand the section devoted to the armoured trains and was searching for a steam engine fitting the early days of the mid-war Poland. The cooperation between the museum and PARE resulted in signing an agreement for the loan of the exhibit. On 22nd February, the crews of the PKP PLK emergency unit could exercise their re-railing skills by moving the heavy class Tp3-36 from the stub rails to the station tracks from where it was carefully rolled into the workshop of Koleje Wielkopolskie, where the engine underwent a partial renovation. Next, on 15th November, the vehicle was shunted to the Museum, where for the next couple of years it will be a deposit of PARE.

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Once again, on behalf of the members and volunteers of PARE we would like to say a big thank you to all our supporters and sponsors.

Sponsors and supporters of PARE in 2018

 

 

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