2020

The end of the year on the railway signalling exhibition

It is a high time to sum up our achievements also in the field of saving the railway signalling and traffic control equipment in 2020.

The first major project started at the very beginning of the year was the complete overhaul of the points machine manufactured by VES in 1950’s. The device was waiting for a longer time for its turn in renovation. After assembling and connecting it to the power frame it appeared that both its electrical and mechanical part if in full working order. Still, the general look of the machine left a lot to be desired so we ended up completely disassembling it, stripping of old paint and repainting. We expected to finish on time to show the results to the visitors of the Shed during the first Open Days. Unfortunately, the pandemic limits forced us to close the exhibition to the public till the end of the season.

Napęd zwrotnicowy VES przed renowacją Sprzęgło napędu zwrotnicowego przygotowane do malowania Zmontowane sprzęgło napędu zwrotnicowego Napęd zwrotnicowy VES po montażu

As we already started laying around the power frame, we found plenty of surprises inside the electromechanical interlocking. The frame spend most of its life as a training aid in the railway school and was full of makeshift electrical connections and broken or missing parts. One of our colleagues, experienced in the maintenance and repairs of this type of devices, took over the pain-sticking task of rewiring of the whole frame.

Nastawnica suwakowa w trakcie remontu Nastawnica suwakowa w trakcie remontu

Another area of our efforts was the expansion of our collection of railway light signals. We divided our attention between the distant signal and the light stripe for a five-aspect signal. The repainting and initial assembly of the distant signal began a year ago during the volunteers camp. The next step was building a proper metal stand for the heavy signal. After fixing the signal upright, the further work went smoothly and in the mid-August the signal displayed for the first time the “expect stop” aspect. The light stripe (a subsidiary light indicating higher speed on diverging route) was a much modest affair, however it is a much needed addition to our five aspect semaphore. We intend that in the near future both signals will be connected to the relay interlocking allowing us to show the full succession of signals along the route: the distant signal, the home signal and the exit signal.

Malowanie elementów sygnalizatorów Sygnalizator z pasem świetlnym Tarcza ostrzegawcza w trakcie montażu Tracza ostrzegawcza

This was not the end of our adventure with light signals. We got back to the long forgotten renovation of a dwarf signal, which for many years was used as a barraging signal on track № 1 in front of the roundhouse. Unfortunately, the late-Autumn lock-down forced us to abandon for now this project like a couple of other started renovations (lock frame and points lantern). Still, we hope that as soon as the snow starts thawing we can get back to work to, hopefully, show the new exhibits during the next years season.

Sygnalizator karzełkowy Podstawa i skrzynia zależności nastawnicy kluczowej Latarnia i napęd zwrotnicowy typu VES

Below you can find a couple of snapshots from our work during 2020:




Summing up track works in 2020

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First days of December were simultaneously the last days of track works planned for 2020. Our round-the-year efforts were possible thanks to the financial support of the city of Skierniewice in the amount of 20000 PLN.

The works started with the first warm days, on 7th March 2020 but due to the global situation had to be immediately halted. Nevertheless, we were able to kick-off the repairs of the rapidly deteriorating track №18 in front of the roundhouse. Due to the lock-down measures, repairs were continued by a contractor until end of April when our volunteers joined in and carried out the repairs till the end of July.

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During the summer holidays, we focused on track № 11 in front of the roundhouse. Despite the scorching heat, we managed to complete the work before the beginning of the school year.

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Simultaneously, we took care of track № 77 which abruptly ends in front of the turntable. To allow for safe shunting, we decided to place a historical buffer stop on its end. First works were completed with help of scouts from the Łodź Scouts Regiment “Bambaju” during their stay on the shed’s premises. Later in the year we prepared the track surface for the buffer stop, including replacement of ties and a fresh layer of ballast. The buffer stop itself required some minor metalworking and rust-proofing before, finally, being fixed to the rails.

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Task Adaptation of historical objects of Skierniewice engine shed for museum and cultural events supported by

Urząd Miasta Skierniewice


Completing building repairs in 2020

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2020 was a very strange year, affecting nearly all aspects of the Engine Shed life. Fortunately, we were able to finalize the most crucial repairs of the shed’s buildings. On Monday, 21st December 2020, Voivodeship Office of Historical Monuments Protection in Łódź and the board of PARE approved the first stage of repairs of the roof of the Shed’s former office building.

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Despite our initial budget and plans to start with the most damaged half of the roof, the final refurbishment covered around two-thirds of its surface. The scope of work was also much broader than in case of the nearby former storage building. The whole office building is covered in tile roof mode of a poor quality concrete tiles. All of them had to be thrown away and replaced with a proper ceramic tiles. During the repairs, lasting over couple of weeks, close to 15 thousand tiles has been laid on the roof. All tiles have been rescued from the demolished warehouse build during II World War at the Łódź Olechów station.

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The continuation of the works till the mid-December was possibly thanks to an exceptionally warm weather and surplus financial assets collected over the year. We hope that the scope of work done will stop the further deterioration of the building. As expected the cost of the repairs reached quite high amount – 120 709,52 PLN. The council of Łódź Voivodeship supported us with the amount of 52 500 PLN, the rest of the cost was covered from our own assets, including the money form 1% of the income tax (ca. 37 thousand PLN).

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At this point we decided to sum-up costs of all building repairs since the Association took over the shed and were quite astonished that we are close to reaching a total amount of 1.4 million PLN.

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Christmas greetings

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Healthy and peaceful Christmas
and a much better New Year 2021

 wish you

volunteers, members and board of the Polish Association of Railway Enthusiasts


Railwaymen Day cancelled

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Dear visitors,

We would like to remind you that due to the current epidemic measures we have to cancel the Railwaymen Day in the Engine Shed, planned for 28th November. Let’s hope that we will be able to make for the lost Open Days next year.

We would also like to inform you that due to the uncertain pandemic situation, the issue of the events calendar for 2021 will be delayed at least till the New Year.

Sorry for inconvenience.


Class EN57-919 in Karsznice heritage park

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A couple of months ago we received an offer from the Marshal of Łódź Voivodeship, Mr Grzegorz Schreiber, to include in our collection an EMU class EN57-919 – the oldest unit of this type still in use by the Voivodeship.

After long discussion, taking into account that the vehicle is still in running order and the Shed lacks the proper infrastructure (no overhead power supply for electric rolling stock), we decided that we have to decline the offer. To fulfil the will of the donor, we started looking for a facility better suited to take care of the historical unit. An obvious choice was the Railway Heritage Park in Zduńska Wola Karsznice operated by the Museum of History of Zduńska Wola. The museum was glad to accept the offer and take care of the EMU.

On Wednesday, 4th November 2020 in the early morning, the unit has reached the Zdunska Wola Południowa station on its own and later was shunted to the premises of the heritage park.

We would like to express our gratitude fro a fruitful cooperation. We would also like to congratulate the new owners an interesting new exhibit in their collection.


New hearth for class Ls60-336

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Many years ago an interesting diesel engine joined our collection of rolling stock – class Ls60-336, the last shunting engine used in Skierniewice’s industrial sidings. The engine was donated by the windows manufacturer “Veka”, who discovered the engine on the premises of its plant, previously belonging to the factory of iron casting equipment “Fumos”. Unfortunately, before “Veka” took over “Fumos” buildings, the little locomotive was left abandoned with coolant still in the engine. During one of the freezing winters this led to the splitting of the engine block rendering it inoperable.

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From time to time we got back to the idea of a major overhaul of the locomotive, which would require buying a new S324 engine. Finally, we realized that the engines of this type are becoming rare in the market. Simultaneously, another shunting engine from our collection – class Ls40-4572, despite being in running order, was already in poor condition when added to our collection 25 years ago. This pushed us to action. The first inspection of the potential candidate for new hearth for class Ls60 also resulted in an unexpected but very useful investment by our volunteers – an old “Żuk” cargo van which will be indispensable in haulage of heavy parts.

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We checked several other offers for a new engine, but eventually decided that due to the price and condition, our first choice was the best one. In October, as further search was pointless, our volunteers departed for a special mission to Częstochowa. There, after finalizing the transaction, “Żuk” with a precious cargo went on its way and reached Skierniewice the same day. We hope that in a couple of months the new engine will be mounted on class Ls60, and the little locomotive will move on its own, for the first time since being abandoned in the walls of “Fumos” factory.


Engine Shed closed for visitors

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Dear visitors,

Due to the increasing limits related to the pandemic, we are forced to close the Engine Shed to the visitors until further notice. Consequently, the remaining events (the Railwaymen Day) have to be cancelled till the end of 2020.

Sorry for inconvenience and see you in spring!


Canceled events in the Engine Shed

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Dear visitors,

Due to the ongoing pandemic and the related restrictions, we would like to strongly advise to adhere to the recommendations of Health Services and cancel your visit to the Engine Shed. The Engine Shed will be closed to visitors until further notice.

Consequently, the first events in this year’s season will be canceled – the Open Day on 2nd May,the Railway Night of Museums on 16th May  and Childrens Day on 2nd June are called off.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. Take care and hope to see you soon.

The Board of the Polish Association of Railway Enthusiasts

 


Priceless artefacts added to PARE’s collection

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The collection assembled by PARE in Skierniewice Engine Shed is not limited to the rolling stock and railway traffic control. Whenever possible we try to gather any documents related to the history of Polish railways and railways in Skierniewice in particular.

In the beginning of January, Mr Jarosław Wiśniewski from Skierniewice donated to us several priceless artefacts including the seniority list of Warsaw-Vienna Railway engineers from 1911 and a set of historical welding tools.

Thank you!