The end of the year on the railway signalling exhibition

It is a high time to sum up our achievements also in the field of saving the railway signalling and traffic control equipment in 2020.

The first major project started at the very beginning of the year was the complete overhaul of the points machine manufactured by VES in 1950’s. The device was waiting for a longer time for its turn in renovation. After assembling and connecting it to the power frame it appeared that both its electrical and mechanical part if in full working order. Still, the general look of the machine left a lot to be desired so we ended up completely disassembling it, stripping of old paint and repainting. We expected to finish on time to show the results to the visitors of the Shed during the first Open Days. Unfortunately, the pandemic limits forced us to close the exhibition to the public till the end of the season.

Napęd zwrotnicowy VES przed renowacją Sprzęgło napędu zwrotnicowego przygotowane do malowania Zmontowane sprzęgło napędu zwrotnicowego Napęd zwrotnicowy VES po montażu

As we already started laying around the power frame, we found plenty of surprises inside the electromechanical interlocking. The frame spend most of its life as a training aid in the railway school and was full of makeshift electrical connections and broken or missing parts. One of our colleagues, experienced in the maintenance and repairs of this type of devices, took over the pain-sticking task of rewiring of the whole frame.

Nastawnica suwakowa w trakcie remontu Nastawnica suwakowa w trakcie remontu

Another area of our efforts was the expansion of our collection of railway light signals. We divided our attention between the distant signal and the light stripe for a five-aspect signal. The repainting and initial assembly of the distant signal began a year ago during the volunteers camp. The next step was building a proper metal stand for the heavy signal. After fixing the signal upright, the further work went smoothly and in the mid-August the signal displayed for the first time the “expect stop” aspect. The light stripe (a subsidiary light indicating higher speed on diverging route) was a much modest affair, however it is a much needed addition to our five aspect semaphore. We intend that in the near future both signals will be connected to the relay interlocking allowing us to show the full succession of signals along the route: the distant signal, the home signal and the exit signal.

Malowanie elementów sygnalizatorów Sygnalizator z pasem świetlnym Tarcza ostrzegawcza w trakcie montażu Tracza ostrzegawcza

This was not the end of our adventure with light signals. We got back to the long forgotten renovation of a dwarf signal, which for many years was used as a barraging signal on track № 1 in front of the roundhouse. Unfortunately, the late-Autumn lock-down forced us to abandon for now this project like a couple of other started renovations (lock frame and points lantern). Still, we hope that as soon as the snow starts thawing we can get back to work to, hopefully, show the new exhibits during the next years season.

Sygnalizator karzełkowy Podstawa i skrzynia zależności nastawnicy kluczowej Latarnia i napęd zwrotnicowy typu VES

Below you can find a couple of snapshots from our work during 2020:

Summing up track works in 2020


First days of December were simultaneously the last days of track works planned for 2020. Our round-the-year efforts were possible thanks to the financial support of the city of Skierniewice in the amount of 20000 PLN.

The works started with the first warm days, on 7th March 2020 but due to the global situation had to be immediately halted. Nevertheless, we were able to kick-off the repairs of the rapidly deteriorating track №18 in front of the roundhouse. Due to the lock-down measures, repairs were continued by a contractor until end of April when our volunteers joined in and carried out the repairs till the end of July.

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20200530_095251 img_20200530_163153 endof18

During the summer holidays, we focused on track № 11 in front of the roundhouse. Despite the scorching heat, we managed to complete the work before the beginning of the school year.

11_01 11_03 11_04
11_02 11_05 20200820_111654
11_07 11_06 20200820_143320


Simultaneously, we took care of track № 77 which abruptly ends in front of the turntable. To allow for safe shunting, we decided to place a historical buffer stop on its end. First works were completed with help of scouts from the Łodź Scouts Regiment “Bambaju” during their stay on the shed’s premises. Later in the year we prepared the track surface for the buffer stop, including replacement of ties and a fresh layer of ballast. The buffer stop itself required some minor metalworking and rust-proofing before, finally, being fixed to the rails.

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77_013 77_016 77_020
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Task Adaptation of historical objects of Skierniewice engine shed for museum and cultural events supported by

Urząd Miasta Skierniewice

Completing building repairs in 2020


2020 was a very strange year, affecting nearly all aspects of the Engine Shed life. Fortunately, we were able to finalize the most crucial repairs of the shed’s buildings. On Monday, 21st December 2020, Voivodeship Office of Historical Monuments Protection in Łódź and the board of PARE approved the first stage of repairs of the roof of the Shed’s former office building.


Despite our initial budget and plans to start with the most damaged half of the roof, the final refurbishment covered around two-thirds of its surface. The scope of work was also much broader than in case of the nearby former storage building. The whole office building is covered in tile roof mode of a poor quality concrete tiles. All of them had to be thrown away and replaced with a proper ceramic tiles. During the repairs, lasting over couple of weeks, close to 15 thousand tiles has been laid on the roof. All tiles have been rescued from the demolished warehouse build during II World War at the Łódź Olechów station.


The continuation of the works till the mid-December was possibly thanks to an exceptionally warm weather and surplus financial assets collected over the year. We hope that the scope of work done will stop the further deterioration of the building. As expected the cost of the repairs reached quite high amount – 120 709,52 PLN. The council of Łódź Voivodeship supported us with the amount of 52 500 PLN, the rest of the cost was covered from our own assets, including the money form 1% of the income tax (ca. 37 thousand PLN).


At this point we decided to sum-up costs of all building repairs since the Association took over the shed and were quite astonished that we are close to reaching a total amount of 1.4 million PLN.


Christmas greetings


Healthy and peaceful Christmas
and a much better New Year 2021

 wish you

volunteers, members and board of the Polish Association of Railway Enthusiasts