Worldwide Narrow Gauges > Two Footers outside of the US

Trip to Poland

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Dave Buczkowski:
I'm in the process of planning a trip to Warsaw and Krakow in late September with my son Adam. I understand there are some two footers in Poland. Are any of them near either city - like within a few hours? Any advice you might have would be appreciated. Thanks.

Dale Reynolds:
hey dave, should be a great trip. have seen many Polish videos on utube. some near Warsaw i think. and the kielbasa is wonderful!  if you have not done the Brocken in eastern Germany not far away from Berlin I recommend it, meter gauge, tons of steam engines, great scenery. not visitable until the communist regime fell, as the summit was East Germanys secret communications center.  dale   

Wayne Laepple:
Ask Ira -- he knows.

Glenn Christensen:
Hi Dave,

I haven't done a lot of research on narrow gauge lines in either Eastern Europe in general or Poland in particular.  But what I have found tells me the loss is mine because from what I can tell, there was/is a WHOLE LOT of narrow gauge in the region. 

The only completely Polish reference I have is: "Nasze Koleje" by Bogdan Pokropinroh.  I think this line ran/runs between Warsaw and Radzymin, a distance of 19 km, and was/is 800mm gauge.  The only other thing I feel very sure of is the word "obrotnica" means "turntable".  The book was published in Warsaw by WKL. 

I've had this book for decades and can't read it.  (It was free and needed a home.)  I'd be happy to talk with Dave, Ira, anyone else - if they can help unlock this multi-decade mystery.

Please send me email.

Best Regards,

Stephen Piwowarski:
There is an interesting phenomenon to check out in Poznan called a Chlidren's Railway. These were built during the Soviet Era to prepare youngsters for work on the railroad- learning how to maintain locomotives, signals, and railway, and operate the same. As the soviet infrastructure was phased out these were mostly abandoned, but some have been preserved for nostalgic reasons. I met with one of their mechanics while visiting and have his information- Poznan, by the way, is about halfway between Warsaw and Krakow by train and is an amazingly lovely city. There are lots of neat things to see there, perhaps the most important of which is their wonderful main square (Rynek Glowny, pronounced rye-neck gwov-knee in polish) with its mechanical clock featuring two goats locking horns! Its great!

Also check out the narrow gauges at Smigiel and Sroda.

The city engineering museum in Krakow has an awesome collection of historic trams (still the best way to get around the city) and great classic cars. It's worth a visit. Plus there is a really neat market in the round that sells the best zapiekanka- a sort of Polish french bread pizza- but soooooo much better than that description!

Annie and I were just there in April. If you'd like to grab a couple beers and mull over all things Polish, that would be great!



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