“Volunteering in Engine Shed Skierniewice as a creation of patriotic care for heritage of the first Polish Railway” – summing up the project.

Remembering the positive experience of the last year’s volunteers camp, we did not hesitate to apply, when the National Heritage Board announced another subsidy contest for volunteers projects. The procedures took time till April 2017. After signing the agreement we could proceed to the most important step, namely the organization of the Camp. Due to the lack of a full-time employees, we had to divide the Camp into shorter parts. We began the recruiting process and impatiently waited for the first applications. Among the participants there were a couple of familiar faces as well as plenty of newcomers.


Similarly to the last year we decided to split one long volunteers camp into 8 parts occurring from June till November. Each part lasted from two to four days mainly over weekends. The accommodation was provided in the social part of the Shed which was an unquestionable attraction to the young participants.


Before the first camp, we had to supplement the stock of work clothing and personal protection as well as paints, brushes, tolls and other equipment required for the planned works. The camp was preceded with a Health and Safety training which took place on the first day of the event. Each participant was provided with work clothing, personal protection, hot meals and insurance.


Undoubtedly, the most popular activity was the help in renovation of steam engines class Ol49-5 and Ty51-1. In case of a bad weather we organized a second work area indoors by the tank engine “Śląsk” class Tkp 6042. Volunteers focused on cleaning the surface of the engines from rust and old paint. They also took part in preparation and painting of small parts before installing them on engines.

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Another major area of works was the clean-up of the surroundings of the Shed and removal of signs of devastation. Those works had a priority this year. We continued tidying up the backyard behind the roundhouse. We also mown the lawn across the whole area of the shed and continued the removal of self-sown trees in the old coal storage.

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A challenging task for the volunteers was the repair of windows broken by vandals at the back of the roundhouse. Due to the height, it was possible to carry out the works only by the use of AWP vehicle.

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We engaged the volunteers in the renovation of the most prominent objects of the Shed. The major workforce was directed to the turntable, which regained the proper look and functionality. Volunteers helped us by the painting and repairing the windows in operator’s cab and fixing the electric lights. Thanks to the material support of the “Castorama” building market from Skierniewice, it was possible to finish the renovation of the fence along the Łowicka and Bielańska streets.

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We took care to engage the volunteers in educational part of our activity. Participants of each part of the Camp had at least one opportunity to help us as guide aids. In case of volunteers who had the experience from the past year and a proper theoretical knowledge, they were responsible for guiding the tours at the exhibition of railway signalling.


A group of volunteers took part in the renovation of the devices from above mentioned exhibition. Under the supervision of PARE members with knowledge in this area, they have learned about the proper conservation of those devices and were made aware of the significance of keeping those artefacts in working order, not only as museum exhibits but also a valuable learning help.

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In Autumn, as the weather become milder, participants of the Camp helped in replacing the ties in the tracks of the Shed. They provided an invaluable help in the recycling of the track ballast and removal of old wooden ties. They also assisted us in reclaiming of the track fittings.

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The last part was the design of new promotional materials for the Shed, directed especially to the visitors from abroad. We decided to try out something new in a form of so-called e-volunteering. One volunteer prepared new designs of the leaflets for the shed. Next, we searched over the Internet for the people eager to help in translation to English, German, French, Russian and Czech. Additionally, due to the growing community of Ukrainians in the vicinity of Skierniewice, we decided to prepare a separate translation of some of the leaflets also in this language.

Summary of activities and tasks completed in the project

Factor Planned Fulfilled
Number of organized camps  1  1
Number of camps participants  45  120
Number of supervisors (organizers)  5 5
Number of events supported by volunteers  5 6
Number of visitors during the events  3000  3500
Number of listed historical objects worked on  3  3
Financed by the National Heritage Board, programme Volunteering for Heritage

NID-logotyp-oddzial-WARSZAWA   nid

Media patronage

Skierniewice24.pl     rsc_nowe       Głos Skierniewic     its    Stalowe Szlaki      logo_radio_lodz

Material support



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