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Published by membersonly, 2018-04-06 01:57:52


24th June 2017

June 2017 BLNI Extra No. 25 – Poland Extra No. 2

[C51] Poland – Diversion of Lublin – Warszawa trains commences
From 11 June trains between Lublin and Warszawa are diverted due to long term line upgrading works
between Lublin and Pilawa. Instead they will use the non-electrified Lublin to Łuków line, the northern
52km beyond Parczew Kolejowa being currently freight only (though reopening to passenger trains is a
long term goal), then via Siedlce into Warszawa. A knock-on consequence has now come to light as all
Terespol TLKs will then become part of joint Warszawa – Lublin/Terespol TLKs due to not enough paths
being available through eastern Warszawa. Terespol travellers and the Local Authority are not happy about
this splitting/joining of services at Łuków as they have got wind of the poor reliability of the rostered
SU160 Gamma diesel locomotives elsewhere. (Stop press: on the second day of the diversions a SU160
failed, resulting in 222 minutes delay. Ed.) This splitting/joining explains why PKP included Terespol in the
10% fare reductions announced from Warszawa to Lublin, and this is also happening between Warszawa
and Poznan for the other pending major works with diversions via the Inowrocław avoider, all as
compensation for the increased running time.

Class leader SU160-001 is pictured at Lublin with a train for Rzeszow in October 2016. These new PESA diesels quickly developed a
reputation for unreliability.

[C52] Poland - Dolnoslaskie Zakamarki 4
As the name of the special train suggests this was the fourth tour in the Dolnośląskie (Lower Silesia) area
by Krzysztof and Ziernowit, two Polish enthusiasts who seem to be organising tours to travel all the freight
lines of Poland, and have done a fair proportion of them. This tour was especially interesting as it covered
two industrial branches of considerable rarity, and the presence of some of the top German track men
attested to the quality of the day’s gricing. The tour train comprised two class SA134 railcars, with on train
catering provided by Marciej (“Warsik”) Lewiński. It may seem strange to British enthusiasts to see hot
water for drinks being prepared in a kettle on a gas stove on the floor. Hot food could also be ordered on-
line for collection when the train returned to Legnica at lunchtime, and most people availed themselves of
this opportunity, though in the event considerably later than anticipated due to late running.
A long freight line runs north from Legnica through Lubin to Rudna, where it joins the Wrocław to Żary line.
This has seen occasional passenger use in past years, mainly by summer overnight trains from the Baltic
coast to the southern cities of Wrocław and Katowice. For gricers studying the Mały Atlas attention is
drawn to the long branch running northwest from Lubin to Polkowice. This was the first objective of the
tour and being mostly single track, and very busy with freight, was taken slowly with many pathing stops.
After 2.5 km PKP line 971 ends at Lubin Zachodnia and from here onwards the line is privately owned. The
Mały atlas shows a number of branches, all but one very obviously in use. There are collieries and power
stations initially, then two intact and well used triangles giving access to industrial premises. The only
previous passenger train to travel on this line was in 2008, and was a special to promote opening of the
line for passenger use. One of the Germans present had been on this, but expected to travel further on the
Czerski special. And indeed he did, the train getting as far as Rudna Zachodnia where it stopped by the big
copper mine after about 21 kilometres.

Wagons full of sand discharging at Zakłady Górnicze “Rudna”. The whole operation only took a few minutes.
The picture was taken from the train as alighting was not allowed

This is called Zakłady Górnicze “Rudna” and opened in 1974. It is the largest copper ore mine in Europe and
one of the largest underground copper mines in the world.
Departure from here was delayed awaiting arrival of a sand train which proceeded to discharge its sand
hoppers within the space of a few minutes – a most interesting operation. It is believed that the sand is to
fill empty mine tunnels to prevent subsidence, rather like coal mines in the Katowice area.
The train returned to Lubin then continued to Rudna Gwizdanów where it took the branch to Huta Miedzi
“Cedynia” for about 7.3km. Extremely rare track indeed, and initially refused to the organisers, but with
persistence from the Koleje Dolnośląskie operators, late permission was obtained, necessitating an on the
day supplement to the train fare. The train got to the junction at the end of the line where it splits in two
to serve different parts of the copper foundry.

By now the train was almost 2 hours late, so when it got back to Legnica some very hungry people
descended on the ladies with the hot food packets before rapidly transferring to another train. The final
destination of the tour was Horka in Germany, and Polish class SA134 are not approved in Germany so it
was necessary to use DB class 628 railcars, normally used for the weekend ‘Kulturzug’ which runs from
Berlin to Wrocław and back. This sped down the main line to Węgliniec where your reporter left the tour

as he didn’t need the cross-border line. Others stayed on the train and got to near the former low level
station at Horka. For at least one member this left two rather annoying gaps towards Niesky and Cottbus
which will probably require the line to be done again. The low-level station is devoid of platforms after the
rebuilding of the line and there is no longer access from it to the high-level platforms. Nevertheless, the
Germans and some Brits left the train here and descended an embankment to a road from where they
could walk to the high-level station and onward trains.
[C53] Poland - Summer trains to run between Chełm and Włodawa again
Weekend trains run between Chełm and Włodawa again this year, SSuO from 3 June to 27 August. Trains
depart from Chełm at 7:38 and 16:23 respectively, returning from Włodawa at 11:32 and 18:29.
[C54] Poland – Łódź long distance tram routes in trouble
In the last few months, line speed on parts of these inter-urban lines has been reduced from 20 to 10
km/h. Line 43 to Lutomiersk has been completely bustituted since 21 February. Line 46 to Ozorków has a
new timetable from 2 April and now takes 116 minutes from one end to the other. Line 41 to Pabianice has
a new timetable with additional speed reductions from 2 April. There is apparently one chance to apply for
EU funding for modernisation otherwise a changeover to bus traffic is planned from January 2018
[C55] Poland – Prudnik to Krapkowice branch visited
Line 306 ran 41.6km from Gogolin (on the Opole to Kędzierzyn Koźle line) to Prudnik (on the Kędzierzyn
Koźle to Nysa line). It closed to passenger traffic in 1991 and freight ended on the Gogolin to Krapkowice
section in July 1997 after the Odra river bridge collapsed during flooding. The rest of the line closed in
November 2005, but Prudnik to Krapkowice (35.4km) was repaired and modernised to serve the explosives
depot of the Ministry of National Defense at Krapkowice, reopening on 3 August 2016. The paper plant of
Metsä Tissue, also at Krapkowice, are also potential customers.

The former importance of Krapkowice is seen from the size of the now derelict signal box

A Czerski tour operated by two Polish enthusiasts visited the line in May 2017, the 40km/h trundle through
a landscape of large fields of oilseed rape seeming interminable. The 3km branch from the military base
trails in left just before the old station, beyond which the line to Gogolin disappears into undergrowth
alongside a disused spur into the paper plant.

The old station building at Krapkowice

[C56] Poland – Railtour visits Cewice
The 55km railway line between Lębork and Bytów closed in 1945 and was partiallly dismantled by the
Soviets for use in the USSR. In 1947 PKP reopened the Lębork- Maszewo Lęborskie section for passenger
traffic and also restored the Maszewo Lęborskie- Cewice section, but only for goods traffic, mainly the
military airfield near Siemirowice. Passenger traffic ended on 27 May 1975, while freight lasted until 14
July 2004. The line was overgrown and many rails stolen. In 2008 the points were removed at Lębork.
Salvation came from the military who decided the line should be reopened for fuel and equipment supply
of a strategic military base in Siemirowice, where 44 Naval Air Base and an armoured unit are located by
the airfield. Tenders for modernisation of the PKP section from Lębork to Maszewo Lęborskie section were
announced in 2012. Maszewo to Cewice belongs to MON (Ministerstwa Obrony Narodowej = Ministry of
National Defence) and the siding from Cewice to the airport is owned by 44 Naval Air Base in Siemirowice.
Renovation of the line has therefore been in two phases, but by 15 December 2015 the line was fully open
and tanks were delivered from training exercises to Siemirowice.
The change in ownership of the line was clearly apparent on the tour as paperwork had to be obtained at
Maszewo Lęborskie in order to proceed, and line speed dropped from 80 km/h to approximately 20km/h,

with evidence of less maintenance. At Cewice the branch from Siemirowice trailed in, but the most
interesting item was the presence of no less than 3 km 0.0 posts with a short distance of each other.
Doubtless there is a good explanation for this, but no-one appeared to know why. The tour locomotive ran
round at Cewice and returned to Lębork.
So, 16.9 km of new track griced, courtesy of the Polish military, who probably qualify for some kind of
preservation award.

There is nothing at the run round loop at Cewice except forest. The tour train would have been typical of a PKP service fifteen years
ago, with SU42 locomotive and several double decker coaches.

[C57] Poland/Ukraine - Through train planned
Ukrainian railways are proposing a through service from L’viv to Kraków, probably using the gauge changer
at Mostyska II. The announcement said a train was planned for 1 August, and also that through trains to
Romania were also being considered.
[C58] Poland/Ukraine - New international connection with Ukraine starts
From 12 June broad gauge services started between Chełm (Poland) and Kovel (Ukraine) departing Chełm
14:51, arriving Kovel at 18:40 (Ukrainian time). Kovel depart 11:53 (Ukrainian time), arriving at Chełm.
13:41. There will be a connecting service to/from Lublin and Warszawa
[C59] Poland - PTMKZ ex PKP Narrow Gauge line from Nowy Dwór Gdański
Our member’s next visit included a visit to a NG system which no longer has a rail connection, so careful
planning had found a convenient PKS bus departing Elbląg at 08:50 connecting nicely into the 10:00

departure from Nowy Dwór Gdański. The bus station was a 10 minute walk away from the NG railway and
arrival there at 09:30 found the MBxd2 Railbus and three open trailer cars already in position. Just like
another ex PKP NG system near to Kolobrzeg, this is a remnant of a once huge NG network with a section
taken over to provide a tourist service paralleling the coastline but with its depot away from its main
source of traffic. In this case Nowy Dwór Gdański is 15km away, so the section to the coast at Stegna is in
effect a positioning move, normally two pairs on the summer only operating days. Saturday 3 June was
the first day of regular weekend operations for 2017 and the train left with around a dozen on board,
many more joining from Stegna onwards. Your member had visited the line previously in August 2011 and
had returned as the railway has an EGTRE unusual line listing, in as much as the junction station at Stegna
is a triangle with platforms on all three sides and outbound journeys now run to the opposite end of their
tracks from 2011 which provided an opportunity to traverse the third side of that triangle. It was also a
novel and convenient way of getting from Elbląg to Gdańsk, ahem.
En-route a discussion with the English speaking guard provided very interesting background about the line
and its aspirations. He confirmed that the previous Arriva operated connecting standard gauge service
from Malbork to Nowy Dwór Gdański could no longer run as some rails had been stolen, but advised that
PTMKZ were in discussion on potentially taking over the line to operate a SG service themselves, so it may
resume in the future. Also a few years ago they had run 5km south from Nowy Dwor Gdański on the NG to
Tuja, but again some rails had been stolen in the off-season and this would not be repaired. Between
Nowy Dwór Gdański and Stegna many rails had been renewed in the last year and the ride for a Polish
narrow gauge railway was very smooth. The difference was noticed after Stegna! En route to Stegna the
railway rises to cross the River Szkarpawa on a metal swing bridge, and the operation of this was
explained. It is only closed to allow trains to pass, and still worked by the original manually cranked
equipment from when the line was built. This requires two people with interlocking keys who then have to
wind at the same time and only when the bridge is confirmed locked and closed to river traffic can
protecting semaphores be released. The line apparently carried 65,000 passengers in 2016, its best ever
total and remarkable numbers considering it only operates daily for two months of the year, plus
weekends in June plus feast days. At peak times two trains operate and they are sweating this year on
urgently obtaining spare springs for one of their three ex PKP Romanian built diesel locomotives as
currently all of them are defective leaving just the two MBxd Railcars to operate all services. Finally it is not
a volunteer run railway, all employees are salaried and it was mentioned that the train Manager that day
used to be the PKP Redcap at Stegna before the line closed!
Travelling to the westernmost extremity at Prawy Brzeg Wisły you cannot see any further west due to the
flood protection embankment of the nearby River Vistula. Arriving here in 2011 via Sztutowo at the
eastern end of the line fitted in nicely with a direct bus to Gdańsk but it runs infrequently in 2017 so other
options were investigated. This discovered a nearby ferry to Świbno (no website found) with a regular ZTM
operated bus (route 112) from there to Gdańsk with the landing-stage a 10 minute walk from Prawy Brzeg
Wisły station. This ferry turned out to be a cable linked pontoon large enough to take road vehicles which
was powered by a small tug attached to it which turned direction after each journey.
_fotopolska.eu_(174115).jpg For a 4 zl foot passenger fare, then a 3.80 zl bus ticket from Przystan bus
stop which is 200 metres from the Świbno landing point, Gdańsk Główny was reached 1h 34m after
arriving at Prawy Brzeg Wisły.

[C60] Poland – Elbląg trams
The first visit by our member since April 2004 to yet another metre gauge network and just too soon for a
new line still under construction with work underway on it on Saturday 3 June. The routing will be as
shown on the map at and in effect be a city centre by-pass.
From the south end triangles are already laid and wired to the west of the current stops at 1-go Maja - Sąd
and Grobla Św. Jerzego but ballasted rails and wiring stop abruptly just to the north of the new platforms
at the latter. At the northern end it will join up with routes 2, 4 & 5 just south of the existing junction for
the Marymonoka line but only initial earthworks were visible so opening will be some time yet. A free
evening gave time for exploration of stop timetables which discovered a TSUL at Robotnicza/Alstom and a
fortunate mid evening travel opportunity over it. Details in EGTRE.

[C61] Poland – Bydgoszcz trams
Two lines had opened since our member’s last visit to this metre gauge system in 2009, one from the town
to the PKP station, and then one stop beyond, the other a lengthy eastwards urban extension from
Wyścigowa to Łoskoń with a one stop branch off it, both opened in 2013. The first tram in that direction
on Thursday 1 June was a route 10 to the branch terminus of Niepodległości (Pętla), pętla literally
translating as loop. The branch was basically just a large loop from a triangular junction around three
hundred metres away from a stop named Niepodległośc, slightly nearer a few blocks of flats. The same
platforms just after entering the loop are used for arrivals and departures, so the return journey is a much
longer distance to Niepodległośc and given an extra minute. Considering this is at least 10km from central
Bydgoszcz it was slightly annoying to see the south to east side of the triangle with no booked service was
shiny and on heading for Łoskoń it was not clear on arrival that that the end stop had been reached as
neither platform had names displayed anywhere and double track continued out of sight around a corner.
Your correspondent is not one for being rooted to his seat to attempt terminal loops, but when the driver
checked if anyone remained on board he did ask if he could stay on – without success. On walking forward
he could see why as the loop was totally within a fenced depot! This explained the shiny triangle at
Niepodległośc but as Łoskoń platforms also had no timetables, later research was needed to confirm it was
a TSUL, even if it was only possible to confirm from eastbound journeys that some journeys on both routes
terminating at the pętla (7 & 10) continue to Łoskoń. Whether all actually do the loop considering how
close the two stops are to each other is a different question. An EGTRE TSUL entry has been created in case
they do, and other clear cut entries for Bydgoszcz are also now listed.

[C62] Poland – Toruń trams
Just under an hours train ride away from Bydgoszcz was the next city, again a metre gauge network and
this time with a 2014 opening of a 1.7km long five stop route to Uniwersytet plus an engineering works
closure from a 2011 visit to be retrieved. The latter was not to be as it was short term closed again! This
time the last two stops of the line to Elana B were closed with an odd looking route 2BIS shuttle running
from Wschodnia (Pętla) to Przychodnia with a bonus of this using what is obviously a very rare south to
east curve leaving Wschodnia (Pętla). This one tram shuttle was operating under unusual arrangements to
say the least, running there and back on the same track of a normally double track route, but as it was
timetabled for every 15 minutes from each end it had minimal layover at Przychodnia so had a driver in

each cab! Even odder was that on returning to Wschodnia (Pętla) wrong line there was a short stretch
between the end of the triangle points and the loop exit which was used by oncoming departing trams as
well, and as there were no signals or flagman this seemed to be operated by sight! This 2BIS is scheduled
to run from 15 May to 31 July and on arriving at Przychodnia all track onwards was lifted and being

[C63] Poland – Grudziądz trams
Grudziądz is the smallest city in Poland with trams serving a population of around 100,000. When visited in
2001 it had three routes from three termini, each running via a different side of a city centre triangle. Only
north - south route 2 still runs but the depot is not located on this but just beyond the city’s main railway
station on the section with no regular service. However this approximately 1.3km single track line and the
other two curves at the triangle at Al. 23 Stycznia can be travelled on as all depot runs are in service. Route
2 is only 9km end to end and needs a maximum run-out of eight trams which split equally south or north
in/out of service so as your correspondent’s 2001 trip missed the curve to the south, his alarm was set on
Friday 2 June to walk to Główny for the last outbound tram departing 05:57 for Pętla Rzadz. Unsurprisingly
he was the only passenger, changing on completion of the required curve to head north to Pętla Tarpno
through the old part of the city. An enjoyable hour was then spent riding and photographing mainly ex
Krefeld Dueweg GT8’s on this section which is interlaced in two lengthy parts with an intermediate passing
loop. This was not as he remembered and sure enough on checking his 2001 photos and Google Street
view images dated May 2013 all tracks were previously straightforward single, so this significant recent
expenditure would appear to suggest this system has a future.

[C64] Poland – Gdańsk tramway puzzles
The 24hr Bilet Metropolitan ticket is a new innovation covering all trams, trolleybuses, buses and local
trains in the TriCity area so it is especially useful for trams and gricing the new PKP lines to/from the
Airport which would feature later in the day. This ticket is easily obtained from the SKM ticket office in the
subway outside Główny and cost 23zl. The three new tram routes on this standard gauge network since
our member was last here were all successfully covered, plus a still baffling bonus of two rare curves. The
explanation of this is that maps at tram stops showed a long-term diversion of a route south of Gdańsk
Główny near Centrum stop as tram tracks are currently lifted from one side of a large square, assumed
temporarily. On heading for the stop just before the diversion a tram was seen taking the first curve so it
was then puzzling to note from information at stop Wezel Kliniczna that the expected route 7 did not run
at weekends….and this was a Saturday. A bewildering series of trams then arrived at this stop with letters
TA, TB etc for route numbers, with no indication at the stop as to what these routes were. So your
correspondent simply asked each tram driver by sign language which route it would take on departure,
and the fourth driver, on a route TE tram, confirmed he would be turning right and taking the curve. So
your correspondent still has no idea what these lettered routes actually were, but an EGTRE entry for
route 7 has been created.

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