Jarocin Railway
Jarocinska Waskotorowa Kolej Powiatowa

The 'Jarotschiner Kreisbahn' opened as a 600mm gauge railway on 1st November 1902, from Witaszyce to Komorze (29.0km) with a 4.4km branch from Sucha to Robakow.
Further sections were added as follows:
    Przybyslaw - Konstancin (4.3km) in 1909
    Konstancin - Lgow (3.7km) on 3rd August 1911
    Twardow - Czermin (9.7km) on 26th June 1915

Traffic in 1911 amounted to 27,928 passengers and 45, 116 tons of freight.  About 1965 some 140,000 tons of freight were carried annually.

In 1977 diesel traction replaced steam and, because the new locomotives were too large to pass under the standard gauge railway to reach the sugar works, the sugar beet traffic was lost.  In 1981 the line carried 69,000 passengers and 48,000 tons of freight; the corresponding figures in 1986 were 58,000 and 41,000.

The Grabina – Trabczyn line closed in 1972 and the Lgow – Przybyslaw and Twardow – Czermin sections followed in 1979.  Sucha – Komorze, much of the original main line, closed in 1987, and the remaining Witaszyce – Zagorow line closed in 1991.  The track was lifted and the rolling stock scrapped, although some (including one of the 1930s rail-cars) was rescued by the Malta railway in Poznan, and three Lyd2 diesels moved to the Welsh Highland Railway in Britain.  One of the line's steam locomotives, after working on various other PKP lines, survives in the Wenecja Railway Museum near Znin.  Two other steam locomotives were sold abroad in the 1970s, but their fates are not known.

Maciej Matuszewski's book "Z dziejow Jarocinskiej Kolej Dojazdowej 1902 – 1987", published by Poznanski Klub Modelarzy Kolejowych in 1988, is no longer available.  The history of the line is also covered by Robert Lewicki's "Kolej waskotorowa w krajobrazie Ziemi Zagorowskiej", published by Wojewodzka Biblioteka Publiczna, Konin in 1997, ISBN 83-87582-00-X.  Copies of this may still be available.

Further information and a number of photographs taken of a steam special after the line had closed can be seen at: http://www.railwayworld.de/Polen/Witaschuetz/body_witaschuetz.html

Other photographs from the last years of operation at: www.stillgelegt.de/imp/misc.htm

Witaszyce brickworks had its own railway, built at the turn of the century and originally worked by horses.  As early as 1911 a 12HP petrol locomotive was in use.  By 1916 the railway was about 3km long, running from the clay pit to the brickworks, and used a small O&K steam locomotive and about 40 skip wagons.  It had a level crossing with the PKP line out of Witaszyce, as well as the main road.

A variety of steam locomotives, mostly second-hand, were used over the years, until WLs40 diesel locomotives were introduced.  The last steam locomotive was scrapped in the early 1960s.  In recent years there were five diesel locomotives. The railway was operational well into the 1990s, continuing for several years after PKP’s line closed.  Sadly, however, it appears that the brickworks line has also now closed, probably in 1997/8.

Lyd2-60 pokes its head out

Witiaszyce Station

Witiaszyce Station

Lyd2-60 pokes its head out of Witaszyce Shed 31/5/93

Witaszyce Station 5/93

Witaszyce Station 5/93

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1997, almost all the track has gone, and only the weeds remain

Witiaszyce Yard

Inside Witiaszyce shed

Witaszyce Yard looks very forlorn 3 years after closing. Most of this track has now been lifted. 5/93

Inside Witaszyce shed in 1992. At the front are Lyd2-069 (left) and Lyd2-60 (right). At the back are Lyd2-58 (left) and Lyd2-62 (right)

Photograph: J. Dybstia
Photograph: J. Dybstia
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This 1989 photograph shows Lyd2-069 at one of the many stations on the line. Notice the missing door. (this door was replaced by one from Lyd2-58, which was in turn replaced by one from Lyd2-59)

Again in 1989, Lyd2-069 heads across the joint road/rail bridge.

The same view as above in Aug 97. Not much has changed, except that this is almost the only part of the railway that now exists.
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One of the old bridges has been removed, and now carries a pipeline.
Lyd2-069 received damage to its body work, after falling off this bridge.
The railway did not just use Lyd2's.
The Jarocin line actually had three railcars, all originally built for the Bydgoszcz District Railway in the 1930s, and transferred by PKP in the 1950s. One is now at Bialosliwie, one at the Malta Railway in Poznan, and one has been scrapped.
A small station along the line. This is the only way you would know that a railway had been here

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© Andrew Goodwin, Stephen Goodwin & Dave Meller 1996-2003
Last Updated 14 October 2003