What’s up at the signalling exhibition

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Starting from the summer vacations, we were continuing our activities as a part of the project Volunteers helping in the Engine Shed Skierniewice, which was sponsored by Tesco Poland programme You decide, We help. In the vote by the clients of Tesco, we reached the second place and received a grant of 3000 PLN. The main aim of our application was to continue the extension of the signalling exhibition. As usual the ambitious plans had to be slightly reduced due to the time and financial constraints.

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The first object of our activities was a small lever frame from the intermediary signal box. Thanks to the assets from the programme, we were able to expand our back-room workshop with the tools. This sped up the further works and limited us the unnecessary trips to the main workshop. A major portion of the expenditures were high quality paints required to keep the renovated devices in good shape and look for long years.

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The activities which started back in the winter, now got up to speed. We completed the renovation of signal levers and the block device. Both pieces of equipment required a total disassembly, thorough cleaning and repainting. After receiving the last coat of paint, they were mounted on their place on the lever frame. There is one more stage to be completed to make the device fully functional, that is recreating the electric circuits of the block device.

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Some of the activities were carried out outside of the Shed. One of our volunteers created new charts for the exhibition, reusing the photos of the old charts but mostly creating them from scratch. The charts, describing the history and principles of signalling and railway traffic control devices were printed on a sturdy A2 boards. They will aid the visitors in understanding how each of the devices works.

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Another aim of our project was to bring back to life a second five-aspect light signal present at the exhibition. The signal was probably a part of the training room in the shed Warszawa-Odolany. Due to the missing parts and faulty circuit, the signal was more of a place holder than an actual exhibit. Therefore, we decide to conduct the general overhaul of the device. The light chamber was cleaned from the old paint and repainted. We ordered the missing background plates and assembled the device. Our aim is to keep all of the devices functional. This is why, the signal received a new electronic control circuit, which allows displaying all aspects used on Polish railways.

We also expanded our collection of the railway signs – we bought brand new indicators W1 (distant signal indicator), W5 (end of shunting zone) and W11b (approach to the distant signal of electrified line).

The activities at the signalling exhibition are supported by Tesco Poland programme “You decide, we help”.

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We concluded this year’s Open Days

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On Saturday, 24th November, we opened the gates of the Shed for the visitors, for the last time in this year. 82 guests decided to visit us, including the pupils of the Primary School № 4 in Skierniewice, who delivered their greeting on the occasion of the Railwaymen’s Day. To sum up, this year a total of 5811 guests visited the Shed.

We would like to say thank you to all who visited us this year and invite you for the next season, starting 4th May 2019.


Invitation to the 15th tourist season in engine shed

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Continuing the tradition, we would like to conclude this year by announcing the events calendar for the new year 2019.

  • We keep the monthly schedule of Open Days in the same form as in 2018. Starting from 4th May 2019 the admission to the Shed is possible between 11 AM and 3 PM with the last guided tour at 2PM.
  • We keep two lengths of the sightseeing route – guided tours at 11AM, 12 PM and 1 PM follow the shorter route, especially directed to the younger audience. The last tour at 2 PM allows the full sightseeing of the Shed.
  • The exact date of the Railway Night of Museums will be provided after coordinating it with other cultural entities in Skierniewice. The hours of the event are already set from 8 PM till midnight.
  • There will be no special open days for schools. Due to the high interest in this form of sightseeing we offer to contact us directly to schedule a special railway “lesson” – phone number 730 181 323.
  • The hours of the Open Day during the Festival of Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables will be adjusted to the actual attendance of the guests. On Saturday, the admission will start at 1 PM, after the official parade in city’s centre and on Sunday, we will start earlier, at 11 AM. On both days, the sightseeing will conclude at 5 PM.
  • Photo days will take place every third Saturday of the month. On 15th June and 19th October, we are open from 12 PM to 3 PM, on 17th August – from 6 PM to 9 PM. The registration of participants and the admission will be possible only during the first half hour of the event.
  • During the Railwaymen’s Day on 23rd November we plan only one hour of sightseeing, starting at 11 AM.

We reserve the right to alter the published schedule.


Another grant supporting activities in the Engine Shed

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On 19th November, the Foundation of Santander Bank Poland, announced the results of the IV edition of grant competition Here I Live, Here I Change. We are happy to report, that we received a support in the value of 5000 PLN for our project Volunteers helping in renovation of Skierniewice Engine Shed. This amount will be devoted for further activities aiming to improve the aesthetics of the Engine Shed, that we will continue in the spring of 2019.

We would like to invite all interested in helping us to contact us via email wolontariat@psmk.org.pl.


This year’s roof works completed!

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On Friday, 16th November, a conservationist’s inspection of the repaired sections of roof above stands 21, 22 and 23 took place. The works completed by the building company Marbudex were worth total of 94751,49 PLN.

We were supported with the grant of 61600 PLN by the Council of Łódź Voivodeship as a part of public activity Revitalization and adaptation for museum the Engine Shed Skierniewice – emergency repairs of the roof above stands 21 to 23 of the engine shed from 19th century. The required initial assets in value of 20000 PLN were covered by our partner Freightliner PL. The remaining required cash was covered from the 1% of the income tax.

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Class Tp3-36 now in Poznań

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On Thursday 15th November, a steam engine class Tp3-36, which was one of the vehicles from our collection outside Skierniewice, made is safely from Zbąszynek to the Museum of Armoured Warfare in Poznań, where it will be our deposit. The engine made the trip on its own wheels pulled by a maintenance train. Thanks to the full devotion of the crew from our association, the engine had no issues to cover the 100km trip. After reaching station Poznań Wola, the engine was transported from the siding to the musuem near the Poznań-Ławica Airport.

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Freightliner PL – our benefactor

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There are partners that always remember about us, and support us each year like Freightliner PL (part of the american concern Genesee & Wyomng). This company sets the safety as its priority and was eager to help us in our strive to improve the safety of our guests by the renovation of the buildings of the Shed. The company donated 20000 PLN as initial asset for the final repairs of the roof of the main roundhouse, which will be further donated by the Council of Łódź Voivodeship. We are glad that we are not alone on our endeavours.

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Summarizing the collection for transportation of class SR71-04

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To fulfil our earlier obligation, we would like to summarize the assets collected to transport the maintenance vehicle class SR71-04. The collection totalled at 11850,50 PLN and the actual spendings amounted to 8549,39 PLN. Due to the fact that we tried to gather assets from a couple of different sources, we ended up with a surplus of 3301,11 PLN, which will be devoted for the renovation of the engine of this vehicle and to cover the costs of the technical inspection.

Incomes Amount [PLN] Expenditures Amount [PLN]
Zrzutka.pl 4237,00 Transportation costs by “Panas Transport” 7995,00
Donations by members of PARE 950,00 Zrzutka.pl fees 127,11
Donations by individual donors outside of PARE 1663,50 Costs of presents and their distribution to donors 427,28
Donations by legal entities 5000,00
TOTAL 11850,50 TOTAL 8 549,39
The transportation was supported by

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and various individual donors.

Once again, we would like to express our gratitude for such a positive response and support to this action.


Summing up volunteers camps

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Before commencing this year’s series of volunteers camps, we were met by the news of changes in the rules of the financing programme of the National Board of Heritage. We expected a major slip in the schedule, but fortunately, the Board has published the results of applications much earlier than expected. This way, with some effort, we were able to start the first camp in the second half of the summer vacations. The official name of the camps, as seen in the application, is Volunteering for the Engine Shed in Skierniewice – maintenance of the Shed’s sorroundings as patriotic care for the history of Polish railways. Our main aim was to enlarge the base of volunteers helping us in maintaining the Shed and to refresh the acquaintance with those who participated in camps in previous years.

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Based on this year’s guidelines by the Board, we focused on the mundane, but required jobs of clean-up and upkeep of the Shed’s surroundings. Due to this fact, the planned renovation of class Ty51-1 engine was not the focal point of our activities. During the first stage of the work (11th to 15th August) the participants focused on the removal of graffiti and repainting of the gates in the wall facing the station. To keep the aesthetics of the work, we also refurbished another entry gate in this part of the wall and the internal gate on track № 63.

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We also started to get rid of the overgrown self-seeders, first behind the round-house and next in the coal-storage, starting from track № 53. Simultaneously, we cleaned-up the remains after the older roof repairs and plant litter left after previous attempts to clean this area. To avoid leaving the plant waste again, we immediately got the wood chopped and transported away for recycling. During the subsequent camps, we continued the clean-up of the vicinity of tracks № 61 and 63.

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The weekend of 20th and 21st October were the last days of this year’s camps. During the total of 13 days Volunteers cleared a large portion of the coal storage from the weeds and bushes. Among the participants were colleagues from organizations similar to PARE – Żuławy Commuter Railway from Nowy Dwór Gdański and Upper Silesia Narrow-gauge Railways from Bytom.

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The National Board of Heritage was not the only supporter of the camps. We managed to convince other partners to provide us with tools required for our work. Company “Agentools” equpped us with gardening power tools, invaluable in clearing the coal storage. The distributor of abrasives Pferd and VSM provided us with copious amounts of wire brushes required in cleaning the metal parts of the fence and gates.

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The project was concluded in the afternoon of 21st October with a sightseeing trip around historical industrial object in the vicinity of Skierniewice. We visited the first in the world welded bridge in Maurzyce and the heritage park of folk architecture located nearby. Later, we visited the branch of the Station Museum in Sochaczew to see how a professional railway museum functions. In the end we visited what remained from the former linen loom in Żyrardów. It was a rather sad visit which reminded us of the usual fate of industrial heritage in Poland…

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Aside from the main clean-up activities, we continued renovation of some of our exhibits – signalling devices and class Ty51-1 steam engine.

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As a part of the project, we organized two open meetings regarding the history of railway. On Sunday, 12th August a screening of a documentary “17 days that decided of Poland” took place. The film is notable due to the fact that some of the vehicles from our collection took part in the film. After the screening we had a moment for a short meeting and discussion with the director of the film, Leszek Staroń, and his crew.

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On Saturday, 6th October, we invited the participants of the volunteers camps to the presentation by Ariel Ciechański, PhDModernity vs authenticity in railway museums” discussing the various approaches to the conservation of railway heritage across the Europe. We had the opportunity to see examples from Romania (steam engine exhibition in Sybia), Austria (LokPark Ampflwang, Heizhaus Strashoff), Belgium (TrainWorld Brussels) and Czechia (Děčín – stavědlo 15, Železniční muzeum ČD Lužna u Rakovníka, depozitář NTM Chomutov). The presentation was followed by the discussion on this topic.

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Summary of the project:

Position Factor Unit Value
Planned Completed
1 Volunteer camps organized pcs. 5 5
2 Participating volunteers persons 25 38
3 Organizers, coordinators persons 5 5
4 Events organized pcs. 2 2
5 Participants of events persons 25 27
6 Partners, sponsors entities 5 8
7 Listed objects renovated by the volunteers pcs. 1 1
8 Other historical objects renovated by the volunteers pcs. 0 0
Sponsored by the National Heritage Board of Poland, programme Together for Heritage

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