A word about the collection

From its very first days Polish Association of Railway Enthusiasts (PSMK) knew the importance of organizing own collection of rolling stock. Constantly expanded, it is currently the third (in Poland) big collection after PKP’s one (located in museums and as monuments) and that of National Railway Museum.

Our collection has been divided into categories to create a cross-section view on the main directions in the national railway development.

Particular sections include:

  1. Normal gauge rolling stock (e.g. : local railway train) including locomotives of all types of traction (e.g. steam locomotives TKb nr 2 or TKi3-137): , mobile units, passenger and freight cars, special vehicles;
  2. Narrow gauge rolling stock (of 600, 750 and 1000 millimeter gauge) – steam locomotives and cars;
  3. Railway train protection units like semaphores, signal beacons and tools, switching devices, communication equipment – telephone and telegraph switchboards and sets, clocks, bells);
  4. Small sheds, traffic posts etc;
  5. Traction maintenance equipment – water cranes and locomotive servicing tools;
  6. Railroad surface servicing equipment – tools and devices for building and maintaining the railroad, variety of rails and surface elements;
  7. Technical workshop equipment (machines and tools);
  8. Various inside equipment (furniture, instruments, balances);
  9. Archives and library collections (expert books, timetables, train instructions, sets of technical documentation of rolling stock and other objects).

The most important part of our Association’s collection is the large rolling stock section due to the fact that mobile elements of the old railway like locomotives or cars have the biggest influence on people’s imagination.

The collection of rolling stock owned by PSMK now includes 71 normal- and narrow gauge units altogether. All of them except 1 narrow gauge steam loco and 4 cars are stored at the locomotive house in Skierniewice.

A couple of units among them have a huge historical value due to being unique – the only existing in the country (in some cases even in the world) – and at the same time representative for given historical period as having been common way back then.

Among our most precious units are:

  • Reconstructed and serviceable accumulator mobile unit of Wittfeld system from 1913 – the only survivor from 178 cars built. This very significant item has been shown numerous times on various occasions, like huge steam parade in Warsaw during the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Polish National Railways, Anniversary in Ełk, 150th Anniversary of the Warsaw – Vienna Railway in Piotrków and grand opening of the new railway station in Częstochowa.
  • The only in Poland and one of the five existing in Europe restaurant cars of CIWL (La Compagnie Internationale des wagons-lits) from 1910 of unique construction from teac wood. This car is identical to the famous one in which the Western Front Truce had been arranged in Compiegne in 1918.
  • One of the two survived in Poland Prussian 4-axle fast passenger train cars from 1907 of mostly wooden (including parts of the chassis) construction.
  • One of the two survived in Poland Prussian 4-axle compartment coach with side doors from 1906, very characteristic for past passenger trains on Warsaw – Łódź line until the end of 60’s.
  • The last existing car from the II Republic of Poland government train and in fact the only existing old 6-axle passenger car (1911) in Poland.
  • The first government train car built in Poland after the II World War. (for President – general A. Zawadzki);
  • The only surviving passenger car from the first electric railway on current Polish territory (Wąbrzeźno-Wąbrzeźno Miasto line) from 1898.
  • The oldest Polish diesel rail bus from 1938;
  • One of the two protected, normalized Polish cars from between the World Wars period;
  • The only historical accumulator locomotive from 1928 existing in Poland.

All items were gathered with the idea of creating integral collections. We are currently able to set together two complete trains from various periods of time out of our rolling stock collection.

We have 5 steam locomotives (e.g. steam locomotives TKb nr 2 or TKi3-137) built in 1909-1962 including the only surviving industry locomotive built in Poland during the German occupation (Oberschlesien type from 1941), 2 electric locomotives (including the industrial accumulator unit from 1928), 4 small diesel locomotive (the oldest from 1944) and 2 mobile coach units.

Our collections includes over a dozen of passenger cars (baggage cars, personal cars of classes I to IV, luxury cars) from 1889-1953. There are also many freight cars, featuring 5 coal cars from 1875-1901, cross-section of box cars of Austrian and Hungarian (1893-1901), Prussian (1880-1916), French (1916), Alsatian (1910) constructions. A number of special cars were collected: lime car from 1925, brewery refrigerator car from 1912, fully reconstructed Austrian tank car from 1905, illuminating gas tank car.

PSMK didn’t forget about the possibility of showing the variety of technical maintenance rolling stock from our collection. It features 2 cranes (1928 and 1938) – one of them manual and of 10 tons tonnage, several tenders (from 1872-1910 years) converted to water tanks used by railway fire brigades, crane and carts (1900-1950, go-devil and small motor cars plus one rail bike.

Part of our narrow gauge rolling stock is located at the shed in Skierniewice. There’s the “Las”-type steam locomotive, the first operating one belonging to railway enthusiasts association, frequently loaned to PKP between 1993-2001 to serve various special trains – most recently on Nasielsk-Pułtusk line. Another loaned machine, HF-type of military field railways from 1918 has been until recently featured at the rolling stock exhibition in Ełk. The only steam locomotive staying outside of Skierniewice – “Ryś”-type – opens the outdoor exhibition of the National Railway Museum in Warsaw.

Some of the mentioned items await a full-fledged renovation. So far the Association managed to carry out three complex repairs (two courtesy of sponsors, one on our own) and considerably advance repairs of another vehicles. Many items require the conservation of paint layers only.

Often nearly forgotten rare tools, devices and machines from many a railway workshops are a very important section of our collection. Exhibits of this sort were divided into several topical categories: traction, railroad and workshop. The latter currently features machines and devices from 1889-1965, mostly metal working machines and cranes bought over from PKP during the liquidation of the Locomotive House Skierniewice..

Exhibits from other sections than rolling stock and repair shop are currently stored in magazines and not exposed. They will be displayed after the adaptation of rooms designated for display purposes. It is worth a mention that this collection includes various types of shape semaphores from 1929-1950, shape- and electric signals (distant, shunting, blocking types) including the only surviving from the electrified in 1914-1939 Lower Silesia lines. Apart from the outside train signaling elements 4 types of signal-lever frames and blocking devices. The collection is completed by various types of telephone sets and switchboards, telegraphs and teletypewriters, clocks etc.

While seeking for memorabilia PSMK also gathered a large collection of various technical, maintenance and geographical documentation as well as a library (currently being elaborated).

The collection owned by the Association is supplemented by numerous private collections of PSMK members.

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