Vol 14: The Wolsztyn Experience, Nov. 2007

A group of friends spent a week driving and firing steam locos working everyday services on Polish Railways. I went along with my camera to record some of the goings on, and this programme is the result.

Running time 1 hour 15 mins approx.

A Trip To Poznan and Back. Ol49.69 comes off shed at Wolsztyn and shunts the train. Guard and loco crew exchange paperwork and gossip. Ol49.23 and Ol49.69 are recorded from the lineside at Adamowo, Rakoniewice, Grodzisk Wlkp, Granowo and Szreniawa on the outward trip. On the footplate of Ol49.69, Driver Worth and Fireman Moffat try their best to match the DMU timings, only to be thwarted by Sunday engineering works on the approach to Poznan, watched over by Stanislaw and Marek. The returning train is seen at Poznan, Szreniawa, Strykowo and Mlyniewo. Back at Wolsztyn, Ol49.23 shunts the stock and heads back to shed.

In The South. Tkt48-18 runs round its train at Jelcz Laskowice, rests at Wroclaw carriage sidings, and runs into Wroclaw station to work its last train of the day. We also see GWR “small prairie” 5521 in Wroclaw carriage shed and Pt47.94 on a roadside plinth. Filmed on a non-widescreen camera, hence the black bars at the sides of this sequence.

Freight Charter to Glowgow. Friday 23rd Nov. Ol49.23 waits at Wolsztyn in bright sunshine with the Leszno train. An hour later, it arrives at Leszno, runs round and goes to the yard to collect 6 trucks. The train is recorded from the lineside at Dlugie Nowe, Stare Drewce, Sobczyce and crossing the River Odra on the outward leg, and on the edge of Glowgow, Stare Drewce, from the main road near Strzyzewice and at Leszno. Meanwhile, roving “dyspozytors” Worth and Moffat capture the action (and sometimes, the lack of it) from the footplate. Finally, we see Ol49.23 at Wilkowice as it returns to Wolsztyn.

Extra Tender. Saturday 24th. At Leszno, Ol49.23 separates Ol49.111 from its tender, to take back to Wolsztyn. The unusual train passes Nowy Widzim. Back at Wolsztyn depot, Ol49.23 is prepared for its next turn.

Smigielsk Railway. A 750mm system baring more than a passing resemblance to The Tralee & Dingle! 0-8-0 Px49.1919 works services on the Smigiel – Stare Bojanowo section (the rest is in too poor a condition for steam and is operated by railcars). On Thursday, we see the regular service trains. There’s no public service on Saturday, so the chaps get to play trains, including taking trucks under the mainline to the exchange sidings.

Slide Show. To complement the movie footage, we include a selection of stills taken by members of the party, and a map.


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