That steam survives on a daily basis in Poland is truely remarkable and almost certainly due to the initiative of one man - Howard Jones
of the 'Wolsztyn Experience' (20 Whitepit Lane, Flackwell Heath, High Wycombe, Bucks, England Telephone 0044 (0)1628 524876). Â  
Howard has a contract with PKP (the state railway) which allows steam enthusiasts to drive and fire regular steam hauled trains in the
Wolsztyn area of Poland under the supervision of the regular crews.  The money generated from this subsidises the additional costs
associated with the operation and maintenance of steam.  Six passenger trains and a freight sevice are steam worked every day.  The
50 mile journey from Wolsztyn to Poznan takes nearly two hours and includes stops at 15 stations en route.  The 45 mile line between
Zbaszynek and Leszno also sees one return passenger working per day.  A  freight train runs from Wolsztyn to Zbaszynek and back
daily and distribution freight trains work to several destinations from Wolsztyn.   As with every other surviving steam service it is
under threat and it is likely that steam hauled freight working on the Zbaszynek to Leszno line will finish sometime in 2002.    Â
2-10-0 No.Ty3-2 running onto the turntable
outside of the 8-road roundhouse at Wolsztyn
Ty3-2 shunting wagons in Wolsztyn station yard
prior to operating a distribution freight
2-6-2 No. Ol49-7 waits at the head of the 11.09
train from Wolsztyn to Poznan in April 2001
2-10-0 No.Ty3-2 brings the daily freight train
from Wolsztyn to Zbaszynek into Zbaszyn
2-6-2 No.Ol49-7 rolling into Ptaszkowo
station with the evening train from Poznan
2-6-2 No.Ol49-7 takes the afternoon train out
of Wolsztyn to Leszno past Wolsztyn signal box
Ty3_2 stands at the head of a morning freight train
bound for Nowa Weis Mochy and Brotnica
Ty3-2 approaching Brotnica with train of
loaded wagons and lots of smoke - May 2001
Poland remains a country of interesting contrasts.  It still shows many signs of its communist past but is rapidly catching up with the
rest of Europe.  Horse drawn ploughs and carts are still a fairly common sight in the rural areas whilst the bars in the towns show MTV
on their television screens.  The steady increase in road traffic is having its own impact on the railways with passenger loadings
decreasing and freight being increasingly carried by lorries.  The state run railway system is being reduced and a number of lines sold
to private companies or local communities.

Despite this steam locomotives are still being repaired and overhauled by the PKP at the works as Gneisno which retains a pool of
skilled craftsmen.  Across the road from the works is the start of the  narrow-gauge railway which runs from Gneisno to Witkowo and
which is steam operated by a PX48 0-8-0 on Saturdays.  However beware the coaching stock which has the most unattractive and
unsympathetic livery!
2-6-2 No.Ol49-7 stands in Wolsztyn shed after
working the 09.05 stopping train from Poznan
Polish engine crews at Wolsztyn seem happy to hand over
responsibility for driving and firing to complete novices
although specialist work such as shunting is still done by the
regular crews.

Steam is very clearly in the blood of the driver of 2-6-2 No.
Ol49-7 as it stands on the centre road at Wolsztyn awaiting
the arrival of the  train from Lezno which it will take on to
More withdrawn locomotives at Wolsztyn:

2-10-0 No.Ty43-123 stands on display in the station area  (above)

2-8-2T No.Tkt48-143 stands on a siding immediately opposite the loco
depot (top right)

4-6-0 No.Ok22-31 is on static display in the depot which is also a
museum much visited by steam enthusiasts and school parties alike!
(lower right)
Since 1926 all Polish steam locomotives have been classified according to their type and wheel arrangement.  These classifications
are P = Pospieszny (Express Passenger); O = Osbowy (Mixed Traffic)  and T = Towarowy (Freight).  For tank locomotives this
classification is followed by a capital K (Kusy = Tank).  The next letter designates the wheel arrangement with the most common being
- i = 2-6-0, k = 4-6-0, l = 2-6-2, m = 4-6-2, t = 2-8-2 and y = 2-10-0.   The following class number is the year of introduction (except 1 - 10
which are ex-German locomotives) and finally comes the number within the class.  Confused?  Try these examples - Ol49-23 is the
23rd member of a class of mixed traffic 2-6-2 locomotives introduced in 1949.  TKt48-123 is the 123rd member of a class of 2-8-2 freight
tank locomotives introduced in 1948. Ty3-2 is the second member of a class of 2-10-0 freight locomotives which were formerly
German .   On the narrow gauge the classification is different with P indicating a tender locomotive and T a tank engine.  Wheel
arrangements and gauge are indicated by small letters and the first number of the 4 figure locomotive number.  
An Ol49-23 crosses the lake at Steszew with a
morning train from Wolsztyn to Poznan
Ol49-7 running into Grodzisk station with a train of
four double-deck coaches from Poznan
Ol49-7 running into Brotnica station with an
afternoon train from Zbasynek to Leszno
One of the Wolsztyn Experience drivers lifts
Ol49-7 away from Rakoniewice station
Late afternoon sun and a trail of black smoke
combine to make a dramatic arrival at Tuchorza
Class Pm36-2 undergoing extensive
overhaul  in the locomotive workshops at
Px48-1785 passes two wagons on transporter
bogies on the narrow gauge Gneisno line
The same locomotive stands next to the road
near Gneisno in late afternoon sunshine
Zimbabwe steam
German steam
Chinese steam
Java steam
Cuban steam