|Parawozownia Gniezno, and today's Loco is one the many of PKP's Standard Px48 750mm (2'6") locomotives.|
The Gniezno line has its origins in a 900mm gauge railway 18km long serving the sugar factory at Gniezno. This line was taken over by the local district, rebuilt to 600mm gauge and extended, so that it ran from Gniezno to Mielzyn. A further line was built from Niechanowo through Witkowo to Powidz in 1896, and in 1911 this was extended to Anastazewo. In 1913 Goslawice sugar works built its own railway from the works to Anastazewo but, being on the Russian occupied land, this had to be 750mm gauge. The delivery of the 750mm gauge locomotives to Anastazewo by 600mm gauge train from Gniezno must have been an interesting sight. Similarly, the coal for Goslawice sugar works had to be transhipped from standard gauge to 600mm wagons at Gniezno and again to 750mm wagons at Anastazewo.
After the Second World War the Gniezno system became part of PKP’s Kujawy system, and it was converted to 750mm gauge in the early 1950s. After closure of the Mielzyn – Niechanowo section in 1984, only the Gniezno – Anastazewo line remained. In 1996 the system was recorded as being 38.0km long. Until recently the line was entirely steam worked, with passenger traffic limited to excursion trains run to order. However, a timetabled summer weekends service was then introduced, while in summer 1999 a Lxd2 diesel arrived. Standard gauge wagons were carried on ‘Rollwagen’ from Gniezno to Niechanowo, Witkowo and Powidz. Passenger trains could of course be run to order. The local authority has taken over the line and, as well as running tourist trains during the summer season (and at other times to order) some freight traffic survives at least to Niechanowo and possibly Powidz, although traffic to Witkowo appears to have ceased.
A Polish site on the Gniezno line can be found at:
And Daniel Trescher's site (German language) at:
Goodwin, Stephen Goodwin & Dave Meller