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DVD: NARROW GAUGE AT WORK Number 32
FAREWELL TO THE KUJAWY
DVD Running Time: 82 minutes
SUMMARY:  

100 years of railway history in the Kujawy region of Poland had brought togther a myriad of different narrow gauge railways, standardised the gauge to 750mm, and created a huge network from Gniezno and Wrzesnia in the west to Ostrowy and Wlocwlawek in the east.

Even into the millenium, it still provided passenger services on a small part of the system, even after PKP ceased it's management of the narrow gauge. By 2011 large parts of the system have already completely disappeared and a small section from Gniezno now providing weekend tourist excursions is currently the only fully operational part of the system left.

The DVD shows scenes over many parts of the network, from 1992 until just a couple of years ago, with railcars, Lxd2, Lyd2, and Wls150 diesel locos, and the PX48 steam loco, all captured in action.

This is a tribute to a huge system once extending into every part of the local economy in the region. Sadly local politics has played a key part in its demise, but increasing local support for the railway may yet see some stetches brought back into operation in some form.

Please see below for stills from the production


Price including postage to UK: 14.00, for Europe outside of UK: 15.00, and for the rest of the world: 16.00.  
 
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In 1993, PX48 steam locos were the only motive power available at Gniezno loco shed.

An LxD2 diesel takes a load of empty transporter wagons away from the sidings near Ostrowy Sugar Factory.

 

The wagons of the Tuczno Sugar Factory were always easily identified by their yellow side doors.

In 1992 many loading points on some of the sugar beet lines were using the small 4 wheel wagons for manual loading by the Polish farmers. This scene was at Walentynowo

Sompolno was the engineering headquarters for the central section of the Kujawy network.

Kolo was one of the last areas to use narrow gauge wagons to transport goods other than sugar beet, in this case coal for Brzesc Sugar Factory.

1993 showed a healthy timetable for departures and arrivals at Krosniewice station, the last station to manage scheduled passenger services on the entire network.

Dobre was the junction station of several lines as well as being the location of another sugar factory, so was always a good location to find frequent freight activity.

After PKP stopped managing the narrow gauge lines in Poland, SKPL introduced services to Brzesc Sugar Factory to transport the bagged sugar.

The terminus at Ostrowy was unassuming, and had been served by railcars for many years until closure in 2008. One of the older MBxd1 railcars is seen here waiting outside the standard gauge station.

At the reception sidings of Dobre Sugar Factory the small Wls150 locos struggled with the large trains of heavy bogie wagons in Oct 1993.

In 2001 the branch to Wilczyn was still receving occasional freight trains, typically comprising of one or two standard gauge coal wagons.

In 1993, a short freight was picked up just outside of Osieciny on the way to Jerzmanowo.

In 1993, a PX48 takes a break on the trip to Powidz with 2 coal wagons.

One of Kruszwica's Lyd2 locos on the way back to the sugar factory with a heavy train of beet.

In 2001 an Lxd2 on the section near Slesin which ran alongside the road for many kilometers.

There were several operational PX48 locos shedded at Krosniewice in the early 1990s, as well as several derelict locos. In 1993 one of the last PX48 overhauled at the workshops makes it's first test run up the line.

The line leading away from Gniezno always presented a cautious journey on the busy roads until leaving the town and the traffic behind. By 2002 the Lxd2 diesels were still operating regular freight trains.

Leaving northwards from Dobre, an Lxd2 is in charge of a freight to Waganiec in 1993.

The typical Wls150 locos were often in charge of shunting at Przybanowo, the farthest point on the Tuczno Sugar Factory line.

An Lxd2 travelling to Kolo in the year 2000. The last few kilometers from Przystronie were easliy observed, running alongside the road.

At Kolo a fair amount of muscle power was required to move the standard gauge wagons off the transporters.

 

Steve Thomason 2014

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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways