2017

Recollection of Jerzy Jasiuk, the director of Museum of Technology

At noon, on 3rd July 2017 at Old Powązki Cemetery we paid respect to late Jerzy Jasiuk – for many years the director of Warsaw-based Museum of Technology. He died in a fatal accident on 25th December 2016. We lost a great friend of our association, a great propagator of science, enjoying well deserved respect, devoted to the case of rescuing of technical heritage. Well remembered for his broad knowledge regarding famous constructors and their inventions, sharing his knowledge e.g. during his own radio programmes.

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Jerzy Jasiuk, BEng (1932-2016) – graduate of department of land construction at Technical University of Warsaw. For more than half of his life he was involved in conservation of historical objects, mostly the technical and industrial heritage. For 40 years he was a director of Museum of Technology, which he dreamt of becoming a facility of national rank. Thanks to his initiative, many historical objects were saved for future generations and became branches of the Museum; just to name the a few: Chlewiska, Nowa Słupia, Sielpia in Zagłebie Staropolskie, defunct factory Norblina in Warsaw. During his time, the Museum of Technology significantly expanded and grew in number of exhibits and unique collections.

The Museum was not the only area of his activity. One need to mention his well prepared and interesting lectures and discussions many times broadcast over radio, regarding the history of technology and inventions.

History of technology was not the only area of interest of Mr Jasiuk. To our surprise he once described to us a broad collection of easter eggs created by his wife, but which he actually started. Over 1400 meticulously decorated small exhibits from different parts of the world are now a highlight of the ethnographic collection of Agriculture Museum in Ciechanowiec. Mrs Irena Stasiewicz-Jasiuk always underlined that the collection started from a single easter egg given to her by her husband in late 1960s, during their engagement period.

Polish Association of Railway Enthusiasts will remember Mr Jasiuk with great respect and warmth. When the Association was being established 30 years ago, a recommendation letters were an invaluable aid. One of such letters was prepared by Mr Jasiuk. It was not the end of his involvement. He was lively interested in our activity, visited us on many occasions admiring the collection and the preserved buildings. He was a great authority for us – in many important matters we sought his advice. We will not forget the meetings in Museum of Technology meeting room, over a cup of tea, during which we discussed the matters important for Skierniewice Engine Shed. Discussions were ranging from the matter of illegal export of historical railway equipment, unrecognised value of railway heritage, lack of knowledge in this area among conservationists and, finally, the procedure of taking over the Shed…

The last time we met Mr Jasiuk, he was in a totally different role – during the All Souls Day collection. Namely, Mr Jasiuk was a member of Conservation Committee of Old Powązki Cemetery.

We lost a noble, humble, and open man, well respected for his knowledge and service to the technical heritage.

During the funeral of Mr Jerzy Jasiuk a letter from deputy prime minister and Secretary of Culture and national Heritage, Mr Piotr Gliński, was read. Part of the letter mentioned that current Museum of Technology will continue its existence as National Museum of Technology, led by Ministry of Culture and Heritage, Ministry of Eductation and city of Warsaw. It seems that the dream of Mr Jasiuk has finally come true…


Anniversary walk along the alleys of Old Powązki

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On 14th June we invited all the interested to the traditional meeting by the grave of WVR builder, Stanisław Wysocki and subsequent walk along the alleys of Old Powązki cemetery.

The idea of June meetings by the grave of Stanisław Wysocki (1805-1868) originated in 1985 on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of Establishing the Warsaw-Vienna Railroad. On that year, the grave of the pioneer of polish railway engineering, the head-builder of WVR, was renovated for the first time. After several years it was suggested to extended the meeting with a walk during which the participants will have the opportunity to visit the graves of other people connected to different railways. The “Warsaw-Vienna” route is followed the most often. On 150th anniversary of Warsaw-Saint Petersburg Railway we searched for graves of builder of this railway. A separate walks were organized on the occasion of 25th anniversary of PARE, 140th anniversary of Warsaw Railway School and in search of graves of artists connected to railway.

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The theme of this year’s walk were the people important in development and history of railway engines – engineers, constructors, inventors, including one of the first polish railway engineers – Leon Miaskowski – who on 14th June 1845 led one of the opening trains on Warsaw-Vienna Railroad.


Invitation to the volunteers camps in the Engine Shed

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Once again we would like to invite in 2017 all the interested to our engine shed to try out themselves as the volunteers helping in restoration of historical rolling stock and the maintenance of historical surroundings of the Shed. Camps are the part of our project “Volunteering in Engine Shed Skierniewice as a creation of patriotic care for national railway heritage” supported by the National Board of Heritage (“Volunteering for Heritage” programme). The project is addressed to all those who are at least 15 years old and would like to invest their free time in activities helping save the post-industrial heritage. As part of the camps lasting 3-4 days, we encourage the participants to take part in one of the following activities:

  • help by the renovation of Steam Engines class Ol49-4 and Ty51-1 (removal of old paint and rust, anti-corrosion protection, painting, small equipment assembly);
  • maintenance and upkeep of Shed’s surroundings (removal of overgrowth, repairs of windows, fence painting);
  • help by the organization of Open Days and tour guiding.

The camps will take place on following terms:

  • 13th – 16th July
  • 4th – 6th August
  • 18th -20th August
  • 1st – 3rd September
  • 15th – 17th September
  • 6th – 8th October

Registration for the first term is already open – please use the following registration form. During the first camp, the coordinator of the project will be awaiting the participants on 13th July (Thursday) starting from 9 AM. The same day we plan to conduct the Health and Safety training and start the first works. Each following day we plan to start the works at 10 AM and continue till 6 PM. Each day will be concluded with hot meal (on the last day we may move it towards the noon).

Additionally, as a part of e-volunteering, we will be looking for those interested in

  • translation of promotional assets into foreign languages,
  • design of the educational leaflet for children.

We offer to the participants:

  • return of the travel costs to and from Skierniewice (2nd class of commuter or fast trains or equivalent public bus transportation, based on the original tickets or printouts of electronic tickets);
  • overnight stay in the social part of the Shed in camping standard (in case of exhausting the capacity of our social area, we will be looking for overnight possibilities outside of the Shed);
  • meals and fresh water;
  • basic working clothing (gloves, aprons);
  • tools;
  • written confirmation of participation (on request).

Due to the limited capacity of our social area, the need of planning the work in advance and preparation of the right amount of the equipment, please let us know in advance of the preferred stay time, overnight preferences and type of work you are interested in (please use the mentioned registration form).

The volunteers camp is sponsored by

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA

as a part of programme

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Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its Stalowe Szlaki     logo_radio_lodz


Railway Children’s Day

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Traditionally, the first Saturday of June (3rd June) was dedicated to the youngest fans of the railway. Aware of the needs of the young visitors, there were no guided tours, instead major part of the Shed was open for independent sightseeing. Our guests could visit the interior of the roundhouse housing our most valuable rolling stock exhibits and the youngest enjoyed their time at the interactive exhibition of railway signalling. For those interested in conventional sightseeing, we organized ad-hoc one group, which had the opportunity to see the whole interior of the roundhouse. To sum up, the Shed was visited on this day by 352 tourists.

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This year we were joined in the organization of the Children’s Day by the biggest Polish freight railway company – PKP Cargo S.A. As a part of the action “Summer with steam engines” a special stand was placed offering many attractions to the youngest audience ranging from quizzes to railway-related souvenirs. The organization of the Railway Children’s Day was also supported by Łódź Commuters Railway (ŁKA), which prepared a special offer for the guests of the Engine Shed. Passengers arriving in Skierniewice in ŁKA trains could travel back for free using their one-way ticket with a special stamp obtained in the Shed. The catering was provided by Atmosfera pizza house.

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Bird’s eye view on the Engine Shed

Courtesy of company Sky-Life, dealing with everything connected with ultralight aviation, we can present to you this unconventional view of our shed, taken on 2nd July 2017. The photograph perfectly shows the amount of work already done, especially the result of repairs of the roundhouse’s roof.

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Railway Night of Museums 2017

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Traditionally, on the Saturday closest to the International Museum Day, we took part along with other cultural facilities in Skierniewice in the Night of Museums. It is worth noting that for us it is the eight edition of this event and the Engine Shed was the first in Skierniewice to open its doors to visitors at this special night. From the beginning we always called it a Railway Night of Museums. This year it took place on 20th May. Each year we try to prepare a different arrangement of the exhibition and its illumination. This year’s centre point was the oldest part of the roundhouse sheltered under completely rebuild roof and skylight.

Napływały kolejne osoby... Kino...

During the Railway Night of Museums we were visited by 784 guests, many of which took advantage of the special, free of charge return trips provided by Łódź Agglomeration Commuter Railway. Thank you very much for visit and feel invited to the upcoming events.

Początek... Harleyowcy USRK i Paweł Steinfurt


Return from Skierniewice with Łódź Agglomeration Railway for free!

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To improve the experiences of our guests, we tighten our cooperation with Łódź Agglomeration Railway (ŁKA). To encourage the citizens of Łódź Voivodeship to visit the Skierniewice Engine Shed, ŁKA has prepared a special offer. Passengers going to Skierniewice with ŁKA train can use their one-way ticket as a return ticket free of charge. The only condition is to receive a special stamp in the Engine Shed. The offer is valid on following days:

  • 20th May – Railway Night of Museums
  • 3rd June – Children’s Day in Engine Shed
  • 1st July – Open Day
  • 5th August – Open Day
  • 2nd September – Open Day
  • 16th and 17th September – Skierniewice’s Festival of Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables
  • 7th October – Open Day
  • 26th November – Railwayman Day

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On the upcoming Night of Museums, ŁKA encourages all interested to travel to Skierniewice with train ŁKA Sprinter “Syrena” (departing at 17:08 from Łódź Fabryczna station). Return with ŁKA Sprinter train departing at 22:00 from Skierniewice. With the special offer in force, the total cost of the travel is 16PLN, 10,08PLN with pupil’s discount and 7,84PLN with student’s discount.


Building the railway communication exhibition – part 6

The last two weekends of August 2016 witnessed the grand finale of moving the KATS telephonic exchange. During the four consecutive days everything was transported to their final destination. We started from two racks closest to the entrance to the former exhibition. This way we gained some free space which was vital in the cramped space of the old exchange room. Conveniently, one of those racks had to go to the last span of the framework, which has to be equipped first as later it will be obscured by racks in spans in front of it. As we intended to fill in the spans starting from the back towards front, we collected equipment from various places – one group selector from old exchange and couple of modules from the storage (due to the shortage of space , those were never exhibited). Next, we had to free the racks from the left span of old exchange and place then on the peripheries of new framework. Extracting the racks from old exhibition slowly started resembling a pick-a-stick game.

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Each time a rack was moved to its place, it had to be disassembled as thoroughly as possible to make it lighter. However, sometimes individual parts are soldered solid to the rest and the rack has to be moved as a whole. For example, directional selectors rack had to be transported by five people. Thankfully it was placed on the front span, so its travel wasn’t long. A totally different story was transporting of the intermediary switchboard translations – this one had to go to the last span in the back. The distance was only a couple of steps further, but required exhausting “hurdle run” through the incomplete preceding spans. In the end, we had to fill in the front span. The initial selectors rack, after removing part of the modules, and using the fact that it didn’t had any cables went on its place smoothly. The secondary selectors rack was a bit more tricky as it was possible to only disassemble its bottom part making it top-heavy. Additionally, it was very unwieldy, making its mounting the hardest from all the racks, despite the relatively low weight. The remaining line and group selectors could be fully disassembled so their mounting was trivial.

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Still, it was not the transportation of the racks that exhausted us the most. It appeared that drilling the holes for 10mm bolts in thick angled iron caused the most troubles. High revs of drilling quickly dulled the drill bits so we had to resort to slow drilling speed while simultaneously pressing hard on the drill. The task was already tiring when sitting on the floor and drilling bottom holes. Another level of acrobatics was to drill the top holes while sitting on the ladder. Finally, we decided to take the longer but less exhausting path of drilling in stages – with drill bits of increasing diameter. While drilling, we established a contraption from a vacuum cleaner to collect the metal chips and prevent them gathering in precise equipment of the exchange or getting trampled into linoleum. After mounting of each rack, it was reassembled with temporarily removed parts, to avoid mixing them in the future. Slowly, the new exhibition room gained a new level of “artistic expression” whereas the old one was completely emptied.

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The 13th tourist season in Engine Shed has begun

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13th tourist season in Engine Shed was launched on Saturday, 6th May. Despite the unpleasant weather, we were visited by 330 guests. This year, many of the exhibitions have been presented in new arrangement. First, the rolling stock exhibition has been moved, so that all renovated vehicles are now sheltered under the fully rebuilt part of the roof and skylight of the roundhouse. Additionally, we equipped this part of the building with benches, so the tired visitors could take some rest here. Also the workshop and signalling exhibition was rearranged and supplied with new exhibits.

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