Abrasives from Pferd-VSM

Materiały ścierny od Pferd-VSM On the last days of December a Christmas gift from company Pferd-VSM sp. z o.o. (Polish distributor of specialized abrasives by German brands Pferd and VSM) reached the Engine Shed. Received abrasives will come handy in planned for 2014 renovation and maintenance works like refurbishing of our class Ol49-4 steam engine and reconstruction of the beer reefer. On behalf of members and volunteers of PARE, and old vehicles awaiting renovation we would like to say big thanks to our benefactor.

After Christmas

The first Saturday after the Christmas surprised us with a spring weather. Sunny day and a belly-fat accumulated during the Christmas fest encouraged to an increased physical activity. No wonder that on this day a large group of PARE member and volunteers appeared in the engine shed. Due to the winter season the range of duties was limited to rather dull but necessary maintenance works.

Plantowanie akumulatorni First of all a parcel left after the demolished battery cart shed badly needed some tidying up. The shed – a typical post-communistic, sloppy construction – disfigured the appearance of the office building and made its wall catch humidity. In the past years it was carefully disassembled, yet there was hardly any time to clean up the patch of ground left after the shed. At last we’ve managed to accomplish this and now the levelled terrain awaits seeding some grass.

Nowa krata Another non-railway but necessary works regarded the prevention of breaking into the roundhouse. Slowly we cut off any possible migration routes for burglars by putting bars in windows and properly securing the temporary precautions, even in places which seemed inaccessible (ex. due to height). During the Saturday works we managed to shut the last unsecured window above axle lathe.

Przygotowywanie opału Each winter it is vital to provide appropriate social conditions, namely the appropriate heating. Dispatcher office is mainly heated by means of tile stoves which consume several cubic metres of wood each year. Despite the warehouse full of appropriate fuel, there is always a need to cut it down into smaller pieces. We are really grateful to the members that took up this rather ungrateful but essential task.

Christmas and New Year Greetings

Zima w Parowozowni, zwrotnik

On the occasion of Christmas Holidays
and the coming New Year 2014
to our colleagues from PARE, their families and relatives,
and all the supporters and fans of our Association,
we would like to wish many health, luck and perseverance in the common aspiration.

Board, Members and Volunteers of
Polish Association of Railway Enthusiasts

Automatic block signaling devices of type E in our collection

SBL typu E

Courtesy of PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe we managed to extend our collection with automatic block signaling (ABS) devices of type E. It was the first common type of automatic block at Polish railway network (except the earlier, two-aspect ABS utilised exclusively by Electric Commuter Railway), designed by Swedish company L. M. Ericsson and manufactured domestically by ZWUS in Katowice.

Former semi-automatic block signaling had limited capacity. Only after the introduction of the automatic block and division of the route into braking-distance long sections it become possible to shorten the gap between following trains and increase the line’s capacity. Therefore ABS was first deployed on main, busy lines.

Block signaling of type E has the following features:

  • it is single-direction – the full capacity can be achieved only when driving in the principle direction (i.e. on the right track),
  • it is three-aspect – except the red and green aspect, block signals can display orange aspect, depending on the number of free blocks in front of the oncoming train.

A curiosity of this type of ABS is the way of sending of the control current between two neighbouring signals. The control signal was send as a phase of track current decoded by a three-state relay of type JRY.

Currently, automatic block of type E is becoming obsolete and is slowly replaced with a bidirectional, four-aspect ABS.

Be faster than Xaver

As each year, the winter came to the Engine Shed suddenly and unexpectedly, bringing the “standard package” of snow, icicles and ice-cold wind.

Zimowe parowozy Sople na przybudówce elektryków

Icy and extreme blows of storm ‘Xaver’, ravaging north-western Europe, thankfully spared us. We ended up with several glass panes blown out in the workshop corridor and a missing blower casing from foundry house. By the way ‘Xaver’ also trimmed the nearby poplar trees from excessive branches.

Prace przy kominie Odnowiony komin

There is also an opportunity to celebrate. Namely, we managed to complete all emergency building works. While inspecting the results of the roof works on the machine house, we noticed a massive crack and split across the chimney. Closer investigation revealed that the chimney is in danger of falling apart and damaging the renewed roof. So, after the hasty search for a contractor, a building team completed the required repairs, checking by the way if the smoke ducts have the expected draught. The work required disassembling and then reassembling of the part of the tile-cladded roof. Happily, we’ve managed to finish the bricklaying before the temperature fell below zero.

Death of Ryszard Drobik

With regret we would like to inform about the death of our collegue, Ryszard Drobik. The funeral will take place on Saturday, 7th December 2013 in church in Krypno near Knyszyn.

Nekrolog R. Drobik.

Invitation for the 10th touristic season in Skierniewice Engine Shed

Despite the events programme for 2013 has not yet come to end, we already encourage you to check the events calendar for the coming year 2014 – the 10th season of regular touristic admittance in Engine Shed. Due to this round number we introduced several changes:

  • monthly Open Days will be extended by one hour – from 3rd May 2014 admission to the Engine Shed will be possible till 3:00 pm, and the last guided group will start at 2:00 pm;
  • due to the increasing interest in Railway Night of Museums (17th May 2014) – visitors are welcomed from 8:00 pm till midnight;
  • Evenings at Engine Shed will take place every third Saturday of the month, from June till August, at 8:00 pm;
  • due to uncertain November weather and possible modernization works at Skierniewice railway station, exhibition of contemporary rolling stock will probably take place during the Children’s Day.

A detailed programme of Evenings at Engine Shed will be published in a future term. At the same time, we reserve the right to change the published schedule.

Audience Award during the exhibition “History enchanted in Iron”

Wręczenie nagród publiczności za najlepszą pracę na wystawie Historia w żelazie zaklęta

On Saturday (23rd November) in the industrial surroundings of the forge room and by the presence of the City President of Skierniewice the Audience Contest for the best work at the exhibition “History enchanted in Iron” has been settled.

During the last touristic season, visitors of the Engine Shed could vote for their favorite photography. After the votes counting, the Audience Award went to Anna Bryjak. Second place and honorable mention was prized to Łukasz Gładki. Book awards were handed to laureates.

Praca konkursowa, Historia w żelazie zaklęta, Anna Bryjak   Praca konkursowa, Historia w żelazie zaklęta, Łukasz Gładki

The outdoor fotoday, the exhibition and the contest were financed from the budget of Łódź Voivodeship.

Samorząd Województwa Łódzkiego

Railwayman Day 2013

Railwayman Day, which falls on the name day of St Catherine of Alexandria, is also a traditional final event of touristic season in Skierniewice Engine Shed. This year we decided to celebrate the Day earlier, on Saturday 23th November, the closest to this holiday.

And so, on the foggy but snowless morning, we’ve once again invited all interested to visit our shed. During this railway holiday we always try to show something beyond our rolling stock collection. This year’s main theme was the modern passenger cars of PKP Intercity. Diesel engine class SM42-223 arrived at the shed from Warsaw with an elegant conference carriage type 508A coupled with the slipping car type 305A. Consequently, Skieniewice were visited by a nealy complete “business” train which provides conditions for undisturbed office work round the clock.

To underline that railway consists not exclusively of passenger traffic, we invited PKP Cargo’s shunting diesel class SM31-126 from Łódź. The list of guest appearances was closed by the Unimog emergency vehicle from PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe infrastructure maintainer. Unfortunately, “Traxx” engine from Lotos-Kolej didn’t reached the shed, while being deployed in more important freight task.

Thanks to the initiative of Przewozy Regionalne, our visitors could travel back home free of charge, using their one-way ticket with stamp of our Engine Shed.

Święto Kolejarza 2013, SM42-223 i wagon konferencyjny 508A Święto Kolejarza 2013, Wnętrze wagonu konferencyjnego typu 508A
Święto Kolejarza 2013, SM31-126 Święto Kolejarza 2013, pojazd techniczny Unimog

Święto Kolejarza 2013, Prezydent Miasta Skierniewic i członkowie PSMK Except the rolling stock exhibition, visitors had the occasion to see (and take a photo) of “vintage” railwaymen. Our president and three members of the association wore the 1958 railway uniforms, modeled after their 19th century counterparts (ex. long, double-breasted mantels). The uniforms are original and represent their epoch in the finest detail.

Święto Kolejarza 2013, lampy naftowe w kuźni While closing the touristic season, we didn’t forget about very important, round anniversary. 160 years ago, summer 1853, Ignacy Łukasiewicz constructed the first kerosene lamp. This path-breaking invention is closely related to railways. Namely, the first large batch of lamps was ordered by Kaiser Ferdinand’s Northen Railways (KFNB). Kerosene was vital for railroads nearly to the end of 20th century. At the beginning it produced light everywhere – from offices and warehouses to train headlights and signals. Lately the need for kerosene lamp was limited to the old mechanical signals. To celebrate the anniversary, in the smithy we’ve placed a row of kerosene lamps, still in working order, ranging from small signaling lamps to the big headlight of the last class Tp4 switcher from Skierniewice.

The last open day in the year was also an opportunity for countless meetings and summaries. In the morning we were visited by Mr Leszek Trębski, City President of Skierniewice. With pride we’ve presented to the officials the result of this year’s renovation works: refurbished roof of the roundhouse (sponsored by Department of Culture and Heritage and Łódź Voivodeship Restoration Fund) and ongoing preparation of the railway communication exhibition. City President wished all the best on the occasion Railwayman Day. Pupils of the Primary School No 4  also didn’t let us down on that day. Under the supervision of the tutor, Mrs Beata Więckowska, they brought us a special gift – very long paper chain – train.

Święto Kolejarza 2013, wizyta uczniów z SP nr 4 Święto Kolejarza 2013, wizyta uczniów z SP nr 4

As each year, a meeting of retired railway workers took place in the dispatcher’s office. Several people, most the former workers of Skierniewice’s shed, enjoyed their time. It was an unique opportunity for us to hear recollections and stories from the good, old times when steam beasts ruled the roundhouse. It’s worth noting, that one of the participants began his career in Skierniewice engine yard back in 1946…

Święto Kolejarza 2013, nagroda publiczności na wystawie Historia w żelazie zaklęta Święto Kolejarza 2013, nagroda publiczności na wystawie Historia w żelazie zaklęta Special open day was also the occasion to finalize the audience competition for the best photo at the “History Enchanted in Iron” exhibition. Visitors of the gallery, placed in the machine shop, could vote for their favorite work during each Open Day. The winners were Anna Bryjak and Łukasz Gładki.

During this last open day of season 2013, we were visited by 375 people. Summarizing, during this year we’ve once again broke the attendance record reaching 6000 visitors!

Święto Kolejarza 2013, msza w kościele św. Jakuba Skierniewice celebrated the railroad holiday not only in the Engine Shed. The next day, on Sunday, a mass for railroad workers and members of PARE took place in the Church of St. Jakob. It was an occasion to recollect our friends, who passed during the relatively short (when compared with the timeline of railway history) time of the Association’s existence. PARE was represented by standard bearers with the historical 1907 standard of Warsaw-Vienna Railroad workers: Judyta Kurowska-Ciechańska and Paweł Mierosławski. They were accompanied by Mr Kazimierz Miastowski from Railwaymen Ministry, a former worker of Skierniewice Depot.




Utility stands from Zdzisław Ciesielski company

Regały sponsorowane przez firmę Zdzisław Ciesielski

During the short autumn and winter days, simultaneously to the renovation works, we organize our workshop’s backroom. It required new stands where we could store the tools and spare parts. Therefore we were very glad when two days before the Railwayman Day, a very useful gift reached the shed.  Courtesy of the company of Mr Zdzisław Ciesielski, our workshops storeroom has been equipped with a couple of new stands. Thank you!