Engine class Ok1-266 at last in Skierniewice

In the early Monday morning, 29th September, the last part of the engine class Ok1-266 reached our Shed. This concludes our 10-years long endeavor to salvage this rare engine. The transport of such a large and neglected vehicle required plenty of time, resources and preparations.

Our engine finished its duty more than 30 years ago in Ostrołęka Engine Shed as the last of its class. It spend the end of its laborious life at the marshalling yard of the local power plant. An unfortunate accident shortened its duty before the expiration of the boiler certificate. After several years, the local railwaymen put the engine near the Ostrołęka’s Shed as a technical monument. In 1996, thanks to the suggestion of PARE, the engine was relocated to the newly created railway museum in Ełk. The engine was joined by another one of its class – № 258. During the turbulent history of Ełk’s museum, this second engine was donated to the Transport Museum in Warsaw and it was not heard of any more.


As time showed, the Ełk’s museum failed to serve its proper role and due to the lack of responsible caretaker the exhibits and the roundhouse in Ełk fell into negligence. The state of Ok1-266, at that time the property of Polish Railways, slowly deteriorated. The engine waited for a better future.

Ełk - lato Ełk - zima

The turn of years 2003 and 2004 brought a change – Polish State Railways made it possible for railway-heritage conserving organizations to buy its historical rolling stock. For a symbolic fee we became the owners of the Ok1-266, after unsuccessful attempt to buy another engine.

Right away, we began the preparations to relocate the engine to Skierniewice’s Shed. We didn’t expect that the first obstacle will be… a bunch of “activists”, trying to prevent moving the locomotive. Behind our backs, possible sponsors and volunteers were put off helping us. Eventually, those discouraging attempts appeared futile but significantly delayed further relocation works.

Unfortunately, also many technical issues resurfaced. It appeared that during the transport in 1996, engine’s coupling rod’s bearings become seized. From unknown reasons, the engine-tender coupling was cut and damaged beyond repairs. Damages after the accident in Ostrołęka also appeared larger than we thought. dsc_7132 What is more, driving axle’s spring was improperly regulated resulting in uneven load on the axles.  Let’s add to this many lacking parts in brake and a lack of floor inside the drivers cab, so there was no possibility for the escort to control the vehicle during the transport on the rails. It was impossible to carry even the partial repairs due to the lack of any railway workshop in the liquidated Ełk’s shed. We realized that transport on rails is connected with a great risk. This was confirmed by a railway inspector who was reluctant to let the engine be hauled by a salvage train with a speed not exceeding 20 km/h (or 5 km/h on points). Therefore, with regret we had to exclude the Ok1-266 from a salvage train which pulled two other engines (class Ol49-4 and Ty2-1407) to Skierniewice. Aware of the lack of supervision in now abandoned Ełk’s museum, we had to strip the engine from any easily-removable parts, which took the trip in the tenders of Ol49 and Ty2. The lone Ok1 stuck in Ełk for long years. The lack of cash for a proper means of transport was the main reason.

In this year’s spring, our appeal to gether resources to salvage this unique vehicle was responded by Freighliner Poland. The company sponsored the specialist heavy-freight transport and cranes. From now on we could begin the serious preparations for Ok1’s final departure.

Oczekiwanie Ełk Przygotowania Ełk

First of all, we had to shunt the engine to the loading site (courtesy of PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A.) with a proper access for heavy-freight trailer.  With the beginning of August we inspected the undercarriage and lubricated all bearings and suspension parts. It appeared that earlier lubrication during the visit in 2006, prevented any rust to attack the bearings. The shunting was done by the diesel engine from Lotos, which was not an easy task as the Ok1 was the last in a row of steam engines left on the Ełk’s shed sidings.

imgp3761k dsc_0041

At the loading site we prepared the engine for a road transport. Frist of all we had to disassembly the engine-tender coupling without inflicting any more damage to it. This seemingly easy task took us “only” three hours. kociol-rzut Much more work had to be done by the boiler. Each and every screw joining it to the undercarriage was rusted solid and had to be heated up to get loose.  Lack of access to the ash pan made its disassembly a nightmare. So was the removal of expansion sliders which rusted solid both to the boiler and the undercarriage and the only successful tool here was the welding torch. The driver’s cab was attached sturdily than we expected. The years of sloppy repairs of its clampings had to be grinded of to let it free.

To sum up, it took five days to a couple of groups of PARE volunteers to divide the engine into transportable parts (not to count the hours spend on studying the original blueprints). We were quite impressed by the ingenuity of the engine’s design by Robert Garbe. However, even this great engineer could not foresee, that someone will try to remove the boiler without the overhead crane and without disassembling of undercarriage internals – all remaining pipes and levers made it quite hard to free the boiler.

Rzut boczny

To transport the engine, we employed the company “Panas Transport” experienced in delivering railway vehicles by road, which helped us by several other salvaging actions. The company owns low-floor trailers with special ramps, which allow pulling the rolling stock from track straight onto the trailer. The transport had to be divided into two stages – first the undercarriage and on separate trailer the boiler and the cab, the next stage was the tender.

  Ełk - jezdnia na lawetę Zdejmowanie budki Ełk

The loading of the engine was also quite tricky. As the removal of the cab went straight, the boiler got stuck after lifting it by a couple of centimeters. The lifting had to be carried in small steps, each time securing it with a wooden blocks. The boiler, weighting itself 23 tonnes, resisted the crane’s lifting force of 25 tonnes. It appeared that a drainage valve got stuck between the inner frame’s crossbars and had to be welded of (thanks to the help of the staff from the Municipal Services Company.

Nocny demontaż Ełk Cięcie gazami

At last, all the parts of the engine, secured on the trailers made their trip to Skienirewice.

Podwozie na lawecie - przód Podwozie na lawecie - bok

The unloading of the engine in Skierniewice’s Shed was quite straightforward. Only the boiler required some more precision in placing it back on the undercarriage, but quick cleaning and lubrication of the attachment points made it much easier. The tender reached the shed on the following day. This way the neglected but still beautiful class Ok1 found at last its home.

Kocioł na lawecie Ustawianie kotła

For nearly 100 years, Skierniewice were connected with class Ok1. During the I World War, as a Prussian class P8 from MGD Warschau, those engines stationed in now non-existent temporary shed. After the end of war, the same engines found their place in the rebuilt engine shed – the sight recorded on many vintage photographs. Many documents and freight letters from early 50’s to mid-70’s proves the successful duty of the Ok1 class in Skierniewice even after the Second World War.

Manewry Skierniewice

We would like to thank to all the parties employed in salvaging of the engine class Ok1-266:


Lotos Kolej panas PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe SA pukelk

Record-breaking Open Days during the Skierniewice’s Holiday of Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables.

5000 w 2014 r. On Saturday and Sunday (20th to 21st September) we opened the Engine Shed to the visitors, during the 37th Holiday of Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables in Skierniewice. It was also a good opportunity to celebrate the 22nd European Heritage Days and 13th Days of Public Transport (Sunday only). Only during those two days we were visited by 1635 people. Among them was this year’s 5000th guest who received from us a special souvenir.

As each year one could see our collection of old railway vehicles, exhibition of engine maintenance equipment, old smithy and exhibition of railway signaling and safety devices. The catering was provided thanks to the Atmosfera pizza house.

Zwiedzający na placu Zwiedzający w hali maszyn

For the first time our guest could visit the exhibition of works from the photography competition “Railway in lens” organized together by PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe and Railway Sightseeing Group. We were happy to have the organizers and participants as our guests.

Wystawa w kuźni Wystawa w kuźni - laureaci i organizatorzy

Media coverage

Głos Skierniewic Skierniewickie.pl TV Skierniewice Radio RSC

Death of Zbigniew Tyszko

Ś.P. Zbigniew Tyszko

With regret we would like to inform about the death of our colleague and senior member of PARE Zbigniew Tyszko, who passed away on 20th September at the age of 83.

Zbigniew Tyszko was the head of PARE’s peer tribunal from 1987 to 1993. From his early years connected with Warsaw: he was the graduate of Electrical Department of Warsaw Technical University, then the employee of Center of Railway Study and Development and Railway Museum in Warsaw. Great social activist, member of “Solidarity”. Councillor and vice-mayor of Warszawa Ochota district. Editor-in-chief of “Nasza Ochota” newspaper and Civic Comitee’s magazine “Solidarność”. Author of countless articles of railway and family history topics. He was decorated with the Home Army Cross and the Gold Cross of Merit.

Funeral mass will take place on 26th September at 2:00PM in Funeral House at Powązki Wojskowe Cemetery.

More than 800 visitors during the Open Day for Schools

Dzień Otwarty dla szkół - dzieci na hali On 19th September, we invited elementary schools’ pupils and their teachers to visit our Engine Shed during the special Open Day for Schools. This long-term tradition resulted from the cooperation with Elementary School № 4 in Skierniewice. We were really surprised with the response to our invitation – for the round 6 hours the Shed was filled with children’s voices – a total of 825 guests visited us, mostly pupils from schools from Skierniewice and neighboring communes. Children could not only see the vintage rolling stock but also listen to the stories of retired railwaymen regarding their job.

Dzień Otwarty dla szkół - dzieci w kuźni Of course, there would be no visit in the Engine Shed without the sightseeing of the roundhouse and the old smithy.  The most popular was, as usual, the exhibition of railway signaling and safety devices, where one could try if it is hard to control the railway traffic. We also devoted some time to teach the younger guests about the safe behavior at the railway crossing and on the station’s platform. To conclude the visit, pupils filled the pavement on the Sheed’s yard with colorful, chalk drawings of trains.

Dzień Otwarty dla szkół - dzieci w srk    Dzień Otwarty dla szkół - dzieci na placu

We would like to thank to all our guests and to invite to the Open Day for Schools in next year.

Invitation to the Open Days during Skierniewice’s Holiday of Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables

Dzień Dziecka 2013, wernisaż Historia w Żelazie Zaklęta

On Saturday and Sunday (20th and 21st September), we would like to invite you to Open Days in Skierniewice Engine Shed during the local Holiday of Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables.

Except the usual sightseeing of the rolling stock inside the roundhouse, our guests can see the original steam engine maintenance equipment, old workshop, photo gallery by Marek Zienkowicz and exhibition of railway signalling and traffic safety equipment.

Except that, on Saturday the exhibition of photographs from the competition organised by PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe and “Railway in lens” club will have its premiere. The exhibition will start at 4.00PM.

Guided tours start every hour at 12.00AM, 1.00PM, 2.00PM and 3.00PM Free admission!

Tired and hungry guests can eat delicious grilled dishes by the stand of Atmosfera pizza house.

Media coverage

Głos Skierniewic Skierniewickie.pl TV Skierniewice Radio RSC

After the first September Open Day

Dzień Otwarty wrzesień 2014 In September, contrary to other months of the tourist season, we invite our Guests to visit the Shed on two different occasions.

On Saturday, 6th September, the first September Open Day took place. The engine shed was visited by nearly 170 people. Traditionally, one could sightsee the inside of the roundhouse with our collection of the historical rolling stock, visit the old railway smithy and workshop, admire the photos on the exhibition by Marek Zienkowicz or learn the arcana of railway signalling at the exhibition of railway safety and signalling devices.

Hungry visitors could try the delicious grilled dishes served at the stand of Atmosfera pizza house.

We encourage our fans to visit us once again in September during the upcoming Special Open Days on Skierniewice’s Holiday of Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables. See you in two weeks!

Special Open Day for Schools

Dzień otwarty dla szkół 2013, przewodnicy As each year, we would like to encourage teachers and pupils to visit our Engine Shed on Special Open Day for Schools, which will take place on 19th September (Friday) from 8AM to 4PM.

Sightseeing includes:

  • collection of historical railway rolling stock,
  • steam engine maintenance equipment,
  • original railway smithy,
  • exhibition of railway signaling and traffic safety equipment.

Due to the limited size of visiting groups, please contact us to schedule the group arrival. All interested schools can contact us by phone +48 697858781 or via e-mail zarzad@psmk.org.pl.