Railway Night of Museums 2017

WM5

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!

img_6557

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

***

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.

mdsc_1517 mdsc_1519 mdsc_1564

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.

mdsc_1554 mdsc_1567

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.

mdsc_1550 mdsc_1555 mdsc_1605


The 13th tourist season in Engine Shed has begun

mdsc_2775

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.

mdsc_2763 mdsc_2766 mdsc_2767 mdsc_2770


Occasional radio call-sign of the radio station broadcasting from Skierniewice Engine Shed

lok

Due to the 30th anniversary of establishing the PARE and 13th season of opening the Shed to the public as a museum facility, Skierniewice’s Radio Communication Club of League of Country’s Defence (LOK, call-sign SP7KMX) has established a radio station with the occasional call-sign HF30PSMK. The station will be broadcasting during each Open Day in the Shed and will be available to all interested in its activity.

On behalf of PARE and LOK Radio Communictaion Club we encourage all radio amateurs across the Europe and the World to join in.

 


Judyta Kurowska-Ciechańska, a laureate of the Steam Engine of Culture

dsc_0171k

On 28th April, for a second time in Shed’s history, we were hosting the event during which President of City Skierniewice is awarding artists and people active in field of conservation and popularisation of cultural values. This year, among the laureates was our colleague and the citizen of Skierniewice, PARE’s vice-president Judyta Kurowska-Ciechańska – awarded for her exceptional activity in revitalization of Skierniewice Engine Shed. During her speech, she underlined that this is the award of all the people, who actively participated for the last 25 years in preservation of the Shed.

Other Skierniewice’s citizen’s awarded with the Steam Engine of Culture were Anna Pokora, Włodzimierz Stefanowicz (known to us from his performances during Evenings in Engine Shed), Małgorzata Lipska-Szpunar and Andrzej Krysiak. The event was also an opportunity to celebrate the 111th anniversary of establishing the Public Library in Skierniewice and to honourably mention Krystyna and Jerzy Pietrzak, owners of company Fambud, for their support to cultural activity in Skiernieiwce.

dsc_0133k dsc_0158k

dsc_0067k

We also made use of the opportunity to express our gratitude to the city council for their help and support in taking over the last part of the engine shed – the old office building. On behalf of PARE, the former president of PARE, Paweł Mierosławski, and current vice-president, Judyta Kurowska-Ciechańska, passed the words of gratitude to the President of City Skierniewice, Mr. Krzysztof Jażdżyk.

dsc_0361k

The event was concluded with something for body and for spirit. The City Council, organizer of the event, provided a catering for the participants, and Leski – artists and musician from neighbouring Żyrardów – provided the musical performance for all the guests.

The Steam Engines of Culture gala is slowly becoming a constant part of our event calendar. We hope to host this event also in coming years.


Building the railway communication exhibition – part 5

Before the moving of functional parts of the exchange to the new localization, we had to repaint the new framework. To avoid damaging the freshly painted walls and brand new floor, single parts of the framework were temporarily removed and painted in the workshop. The recycled parts from the old exchange – bases, vertical supports, railings – had to be first cleaned of the old paint and washed. Bases additionally received soft padding from linoleum scraps to avoid scratching the floor. Some parts were to big to move them around (e.g. the top cable channels) so they were carefully painted in their final place. After first coat of paint the framework was finally assembled.

odc-5-a odc-5-b

The whole construction required to receive a finishing layer of paint, which appeared to be a time-consuming task. Constant covering of walls against paint splatters and moving around with heavy ladder quickly become exhausting.

odc-5-c odc-5-d

Before the end of August 2016 the framework was fully painted and was ready for installation of all exchange modules.