Poland is once again the only country in the world to boast regular main line scheduled steam services, with the first timetabled steam-hauled services for three years running on May 15.
Polish 2-6-2 Ol49-59 had the honour of hauling the first train, the 06.25 from Wolsztyn to Leszno, which according to former Steam Railway editor and Down Main correspondent, Tony Streeter, ran to capacity.
Members of the Polish media were there to record an event and a celebratory ceremony was held at the Wolsztyn depot before the departure of the first train.
Timetabled steam-hauled main line passenger services were once a regular feature on the country’s railways, attracting a large number of tourists from the UK and overseas, but they ceased running on March 31 2014. Coincidentally, Ol49-59 was the locomotive that worked the last train.
The 2-6-2 is expected to be joined on the roster by ‘Mikado’ Pt47-65, which will enter the fray on May 20 taking trains between Wolsztyn and Poznan.
There will be two trains a day serving Wolsztyn and Lezno Monday-Friday, with trains working the route to Poznan on Saturdays.
For a full report, read the next edition of Steam Railway (SR468), on sale June 16.