Beginning of the Volunteers Camp


Not without unforeseen difficulties, we managed to commence the series of volunteers camps. According to the requirements of the supporting institutions (the National Board of Heritage), we focused on the upkeep of the Shed’s surroundings. Therefore, there was hardly anyone working by the renovation of class Ty51-1 engine – most of the efforts were directed to fight the overgrowth and remove the traces of vandalism, which involved replacing the broken glass in windows and painting over the graffiti.

During the first stage of the camp (11th-15th August) participants directed their efforts to clean up and repaint the gates on the entry tracks from the side of the station. Due to the remoteness of this part of the shed from other buildings and frequent need to use power tools, we made a good use of the portable electric generator.

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Another group of volunteers cleaned the area behind the roundhouse and then the coal storage, starting from track № 53. they had to simultaneously cut out the overgrowth and remove the remains of previous works in this area. In the past we had some problems with getting rid of the plant waste. This time wood was immediately crumbled into chips and disposed.

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We also organised an open-for-all events. On 12th August a screening of documentary about Józef Piłsudski “17 days that decided of Poland” took place. The film was directed by Leszek Staroń. Some scenes of the documentary were shot in our Shed e.g. the interiors of army staff train was actually the passenger compartment of “Wittfeld” motor unit. After the screening, the participants had the opportunity to discuss the film with the director and his crew.

Except the obligatory work on the upkeep of the Shed, we used some spare moments to tend our exhibits – renovation of the block signal box frame on the signalling exhibition and repainting of the class Ty51-1.

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The volunteers camp is supported by the National Heritage Board – Together for Heritage.

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA   nid-wdd



“Volunteering in Engine Shed Skierniewice as a creation of patriotic care for heritage of the first Polish Railway” – summing up the project.

Remembering the positive experience of the last year’s volunteers camp, we did not hesitate to apply, when the National Heritage Board announced another subsidy contest for volunteers projects. The procedures took time till April 2017. After signing the agreement we could proceed to the most important step, namely the organization of the Camp. Due to the lack of a full-time employees, we had to divide the Camp into shorter parts. We began the recruiting process and impatiently waited for the first applications. Among the participants there were a couple of familiar faces as well as plenty of newcomers.


Similarly to the last year we decided to split one long volunteers camp into 8 parts occurring from June till November. Each part lasted from two to four days mainly over weekends. The accommodation was provided in the social part of the Shed which was an unquestionable attraction to the young participants.


Before the first camp, we had to supplement the stock of work clothing and personal protection as well as paints, brushes, tolls and other equipment required for the planned works. The camp was preceded with a Health and Safety training which took place on the first day of the event. Each participant was provided with work clothing, personal protection, hot meals and insurance.


Undoubtedly, the most popular activity was the help in renovation of steam engines class Ol49-5 and Ty51-1. In case of a bad weather we organized a second work area indoors by the tank engine “Śląsk” class Tkp 6042. Volunteers focused on cleaning the surface of the engines from rust and old paint. They also took part in preparation and painting of small parts before installing them on engines.

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Another major area of works was the clean-up of the surroundings of the Shed and removal of signs of devastation. Those works had a priority this year. We continued tidying up the backyard behind the roundhouse. We also mown the lawn across the whole area of the shed and continued the removal of self-sown trees in the old coal storage.

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A challenging task for the volunteers was the repair of windows broken by vandals at the back of the roundhouse. Due to the height, it was possible to carry out the works only by the use of AWP vehicle.

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We engaged the volunteers in the renovation of the most prominent objects of the Shed. The major workforce was directed to the turntable, which regained the proper look and functionality. Volunteers helped us by the painting and repairing the windows in operator’s cab and fixing the electric lights. Thanks to the material support of the “Castorama” building market from Skierniewice, it was possible to finish the renovation of the fence along the Łowicka and Bielańska streets.

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We took care to engage the volunteers in educational part of our activity. Participants of each part of the Camp had at least one opportunity to help us as guide aids. In case of volunteers who had the experience from the past year and a proper theoretical knowledge, they were responsible for guiding the tours at the exhibition of railway signalling.


A group of volunteers took part in the renovation of the devices from above mentioned exhibition. Under the supervision of PARE members with knowledge in this area, they have learned about the proper conservation of those devices and were made aware of the significance of keeping those artefacts in working order, not only as museum exhibits but also a valuable learning help.

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In Autumn, as the weather become milder, participants of the Camp helped in replacing the ties in the tracks of the Shed. They provided an invaluable help in the recycling of the track ballast and removal of old wooden ties. They also assisted us in reclaiming of the track fittings.

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The last part was the design of new promotional materials for the Shed, directed especially to the visitors from abroad. We decided to try out something new in a form of so-called e-volunteering. One volunteer prepared new designs of the leaflets for the shed. Next, we searched over the Internet for the people eager to help in translation to English, German, French, Russian and Czech. Additionally, due to the growing community of Ukrainians in the vicinity of Skierniewice, we decided to prepare a separate translation of some of the leaflets also in this language.

Summary of activities and tasks completed in the project

Factor Planned Fulfilled
Number of organized camps  1  1
Number of camps participants  45  120
Number of supervisors (organizers)  5 5
Number of events supported by volunteers  5 6
Number of visitors during the events  3000  3500
Number of listed historical objects worked on  3  3
Financed by the National Heritage Board, programme Volunteering for Heritage

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA   nid

Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    Stalowe Szlaki      logo_radio_lodz

Material support



Volunteers helping in track works


Our project of Volunteers Camps is slowly reaching its end. During the last editions of the weekend camps from 21st to 22nd October and 4th to 5th November the participants helped us in the preparation to the track renovation and maintenance works. They assisted in a labour-intense process of recycling of the old ballast, classification and storing of the track fittings and removal of the damaged track ties. We still plan to complete the track works before the end of November to keep the vital track № 59 passable.

We would like to say a big thanks to more than 30 participants of the camps who often visited us more than once and assisted us in the maintenance of the Shed.

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Financed by the National Heritage Board, programme Volunteering for Heritage

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA   nid

Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    Stalowe Szlaki      logo_radio_lodz

Material support


Volunteers tidied up the Shed’s surroundings


Due to the rainy weather, we had to reorganize the first days of yet another volunteers camp. We had to put aside the renovation works by the class Ty51-1 engine and focus on the upkeep of the shed’s buildings and surrounding areas. Volunteers dealt swiftly with heaps of leafs and cut grass and proceeded to fight the self-sown plants in the old coal storage.

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They also continued the work on replacing the broken glass panes at the back of the roundhouse. The rented AWP helped in reaching the highest parts of the windows. Simultaneously we cleaned up the area behind the main roundhouse. We were also able to continue the repainting of the fence thanks to the supply of paints provided by “Castorama” from Skierniewice.

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Sponsored from the funds of THE National Heritage Board – Volunteering for Heritage programme

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA   nid

Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    Stalowe Szlaki      logo_radio_lodz

Materials provided by


We are not afraid of storms…


… and so are not our volunteers. The third Volunteers Camp, supported by the National Board of Heritage, was dominated by rather unfavourable weather. On Friday, it was still possible to continue the outdoor works, mostly devoted to the renovation of the turntable and class Ty51-1, but starting from Saturday’s afternoon this area of activity become impossible. At first it was a bit of challenge to find some works inside the buildings. In case of the turntable, renovation effort was focused at the interior of the operator’s booth.

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Those interested in the renovation of steam engines could help us by the exhibits standing inside the roundhouse. The help of the volunteers was also very valuable at the exhibition of signalling devices.


On Sunday, our efforts were observed and filmed by the crew preparing a document about the programme Volunteering for Heritage. Not only the volunteers’ efforts were recorded – those willing to, had the opportunity to say a couple of words about their motivation to participate in such programme and why they were specifically interested in Skiernieiwce’s shed.

We would like to thank to the participants of the 3rd Volunteers Camp and encourage all interested in subscribing for the next part, which will take place from 1st to 3rd September.

Volunteers Camp is sponsored by


as a part of programme


Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    Stalowe Szlaki      logo_radio_lodz

Material support


2nd part of Volunteers Camp


From 4th to 6th August, a 2nd part of our Volunteers Camp took place. The camp is supported by the sponsorship of the National Board of Heritage. At its peak, nearly 30 people were taking part in the camp (including members of PARE). Participants were involved in wide range of works, starting from upkeep of green areas of the Shed, help by renovation of the exhibits, finishing on the aid during the Open Days. Each volunteer, after undergoing the obligatory health and safety training, could find something interesting – we made and effort to provide different activities each day.


One of the most difficult tasks, in which volunteers engaged on Friday, was the replacement of glass panes at the back of the roundhouse. This side of the building, facing the river, is lately a victim of vandals tossing stones at our windows. Volunteers had the opportunity to replace the broken glass and take measurements for the order of new panes from the mobile work platform.

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Participants of the second Volunteers Camp also helped by the renovation of our heaviest exhibit – class Ty51-1, which later started to rapidly deteriorate due to constant exposure to the elements outside. Despite the summer heat, volunteers were removing the old paint from the coal box of the tender car and covered it with the first layer of anti-corrosion paint. We intend to continue this work during the upcoming camps. At the moment the main aim is to secure the most rusted parts of the engine from further deterioration.

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Participants were also involved in the maintenance of the turntable. We replaced the glass in the operators booth and supplemented the missing electrical equipment (searchlights). The main task was to continue repainting of the turntable – it will return to its look from the 1980′. The final of the works will be the repair of barraging signals lanterns which still need to be completed, both from electrical and mechanical part.

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Volunteers helped us in the organisation of the Open Day, upkeep of green areas and painting of further parts of the fence (which was painted for the last time at the time of being erected). The last two activities were supported thanks to the tools sponsored by Castorama from Skierniewice.

We would like to express our gratitude to the volunteers and sponsors!

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Volunteers Camp is sponsored by


as a part of programme


Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    Stalowe Szlaki      logo_radio_lodz

After the first Volunteers Camp


On 13th July 2017 our Volunteers Camp commenced. Similarly to last year, it is supported by the National Board of Heritage, as a part of programme Volunteering for Heritage. First camp took place in the shed from 13th to 16th July, attracting nearly 20 people interested in helping PARE in its activities. Among the volunteers were participant’s of the last year’s camps as well as many new faces.


The main part of activities planned for this and further camps focuses on the central part of the shed – the turntable. Majority of refurbishment was already done a couple of years ago, however it still required repainting of the railings and operator’s booth. Thanks to the volunteers efforts, the device is regaining the look from it’s prime time in 1980’s.

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Camp’s participants took part in other activities as well. They trimmed the grass, helped in replacing broken glass in windows, removed the waste from the previous’ year’s building renovations and painted the fence facing the Łowicka street. There was also a moment to help with renovation of our exhibits – steam engines class Ol49-4, Tkp 6042 and railway signalling devices.

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Volunteers Camp is sponsored by


as a part of programme


Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    Stalowe Szlaki      logo_radio_lodz

Invitation to the volunteers camps in the Engine Shed


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


as a part of programme


Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its Stalowe Szlaki     logo_radio_lodz


Summing up the volunteers camps

In Autumn 2015 The National Institute of Heritage initiated a competition for financing the volunteer activities for the historic heritage. We wrote the application entry, gathered the vital documentation – we applied to the competition in December 2015. We had to wait till Spring to learn about the positive results, yet it was no sooner than in June when we signed the financing agreement. Full of concerns about possible success or failure of the project, we started preparing the main part of it, namely – the Volunteers Camp. Due to the lack of full-time employees we had to split the event into weekend camps. We started the enrolment and impatiently waited for the first applications. To our great surprise, there were more applications than we expected.


Due to the specific functioning of Skierniewice Shed, which do not have any full-time employees, initially we decided to divide the Volunteers Camp into 3 parts (total of 10 days) taking part from June to October. We decided to offer the participant with overnight stay in the social area of the Shed.

The beginning of the camp was slightly delayed due to the longer than expected approval procedure and later end of the competition organized by the Heritage Board.


Except the three parts of the camp with open enrolment, we organized one extra part addressed to the most experienced participants of earlier camps who were already familiar with the facility and could help in such events like open days:

  • 1st part – from 5th to 8th August (14 participants),
  • 2nd part – from 19th to 22nd August (14 participants),
  • 3rd part – from 9th to 11th September (12 participants),
  • 4th part – from 17th to 18th September (6 participants).


Before starting the camp, we had to replenish the workshop equipment – buy new tools (including new compressor), personal protective clothing as well as the stock of painting and woodworking material. We also decided to organize a Health and Safety training with practical exercises. We also could not forget to provide the participants with insurance, hot meals and drinks.

Possibly the most attractive part of the camp was help in renovation of the listed steam engine class Ol49-4. During the first part of the camp, volunteers helped in cleaning the vehicle from old paint and rust. They were also responsible for preparing the smaller parts fro final painting and assembly. Participants of second and third part of the camp were engaged in the renovation work of the engine in a smaller scale. Still during that time the work required to clean-up the interior of the chassis and assembly of the steam dome cover was accomplished.

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Another important area of volunteers activity was the upkeep of Shed surroundings, including clean-up of roundhouse interior. They also provided invaluable help in forever-postponed works that were not yet completed due to lack of time, but which critically influence the general look of the facility – painting of the fences and gates. If the weather was against us, we moved the work to interiors or shaded areas, so volunteers could help in other ongoing activities in the Shed e.g. repair of the turntable drive, construction of the new exhibitions (mainly those regarding railway telecommunication) or repair of windows. The only upkeep activity that was not completed due to the scorching August heat was the cutting down the ever present self-sown bushes. Instead a couple of previously neglected areas in more shaded place were tended.

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Volunteers also had the possibility to take part in the organization of the events in the Shed. Any camp participant could become the guide helper, taking care of the visiting groups safety during the Open Days, Photo-days and other extraordinary events. A couple of participants with good theoretical knowledge and after brief training was able to successfully play the role of guides at the railway signalling exhibition.


Whenever possible, we provided additional attractions to the participants of the camp. During the evening cultural programme, they could take part in the screening of old railway educational films. On another occasion volunteers could participate in the lecture about railway museums abroad, with the accent on Czech facilities, which due to the border and cultural proximity, stands for the best comparison with our activities.


The last part of the camps was completing the sightseeing route “Past and Present of Engine Shed Skierniewice”, which allows the visitors to familiarize with our facility without the help of the guide. Signposts directing to various points of interest have been erected in critical locations and the exhibits placed outside the roundhouse gained new description plates. The preparation of the sightseeing route was mainly coordinated by one person with proper knowledge about graphical software, still volunteers provided help in editing and correction of exhibits descriptions and then in assembly of signposts.

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Summing up the camp in numbers

Item Count
according to the applications accomplished
Count of organized camps 1 1
Count of participants 20 46
Count of organizers/carers 3 6
Count of organized events 2 5
Count of prepared sightseeing routes 1 1
Count of visitors 1000 2500
Count of listed exhibits involved in volunteers actions 2 2

Project was sponsored by:


as a part of the programme:


Media patronage:

Głos Skierniewic nm dl its Stalowe Szlaki rsc_nowe Skierniewice24.pl Skierniewickie.pl

Final Volunteers Camp


From 9th to 11th September the last, third part of the Volunteers Camp took place. The camp is an event sponsored by National Heritage Board as a part of programme Volunteering for Heritage. Contrary to the previous editions of the event, where most works were concerning the renovation of engine class Ol49-4, we decided to focus on general upkeep of the facility. Scorching heat forced us to resign from some more labor-intense activities, like cutting down the wild bushes and instead tend the forgotten green areas in more shaded places.


Thanks to the numerous participants (12 people) we were able to repaint the major part of the fence from the side of the street. Some time was also devoted to the good, old class Ol49. Volunteers cleaned up the more secluded areas of the frame, prepared the air tanks for painting and helped by the installation of steam dome cover. They also helped in tour guiding during the visit of youngtimers from Warsaw’s Automobile Factory (FSO).

We would like to say a big thank you to the participants of all three camps. We would like to note that several volunteers from Łódź took part in all three events, and our guests from Szczecin and Wolsztyn helped in both holiday editions. As a part of this project, yet in a smaller group, we are designing the new didactic sightseeing rout in the Shed. We would like to invite those, who still would like to take part in similar, but a bit more modest event, at the turn of month September and October.

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