Steam locomotives back on track
PR dla Zagranicy
Steam locomotives will be used to haul scheduled passenger services in the Greater Poland Voivodship, west-central Poland, with one hundred-year-old locomotives set to be operating from January 2016.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A new cultural institute will be formed to enable the Wolsztyn Locomotive Depot to run regular passenger services again, with PKP Cargo, the Great Poland Voivodship, Wolsztyn County and Gmina Wolsztyn investing PLN 375,000 (EUR 91,000) each.
Scheduled steam locomotive-hauled trains disappeared from timetables in April 2014 following a disagreement between local governments and PKP Cargo. The Wolsztyn-Leszno route had been the last steam-powered regular passenger rail connection in Europe.
“The operations [of the institute], namely the introduction of trains hauled by steam locomotives on the tracks, will begin as soon as the new timetable is introduced, meaning at the end of December and start of January,” Wojciech Jankowiak, Deputy Marshal of the Greater Poland Voivodship, said.
Initially the services will rely on the Greater Poland Voivodship, which will place orders for routes during the first three years of operations.
“In the business plan we have assumed that for 2016 the Voivodship will order regular services worth around PLN 2 million [EUR 0.49 million]. In the subsequent year this order will be PLN 1.5 million [EUR 0.36 million], and in 2018 at around PLN 1.2 million [EUR 0.29],” explained Jankowiak.
“We plan that by the fourth year of operations the institue will have become financially independent,” he added.
The trains are intended to run on the routes Wolsztyn-Poznań, Wolsztyn-Leszno and Leszno-Krotoszyn, though other routes have not yet been ruled out.
The main source of demand is expected to be from tourists, and the trains will be scheduled to avoid clashing with local commuting services. (sl/jh)