Kruszwica Sugar Works

The Kruszwica sugar factory railway dates back to 1882, and by 1914 the 716mm gauge line had 130km of track, 13 locomotives, 963 wagons and 1 coach.  In 1923 the line was converted to 750mm gauge and over the following years the system continued to grow, incorporating the Matwy sugar works system in 1948.  By 1950 there were 320km of track, 30 steam locomotives, 1800 wagons and 6 coaches.  In the 1960s the system began to shrink, but in 1993 there were still 134km of track, 11 diesel locomotives, 660 wagons and 3 coaches.

In 1996 the heaviest traffic was on the lines to Nowa Wies and Piotrkow Kujawski (the PKP line to here from Sompolno was already disused).  Lyd2 locomotives performed most of the haulage work, with WLs150 locomotives shunting at loading points and within the factory.  On the line north to Walentynowo there were numerous small loading points and, because, of axle-load restrictions, only WLs150 locomotives and light wagons could be used.  Unlike other sugar factories, which only used bogie wagons, Kruszwica used a wide variety of bogie and four-wheel wagons of varying antiquity, origin and condition.

By 1998 the operation had changed somewhat, and only the Piotrkow and Nowa Wies lines were in use.  All beet traffic was carried to the factory in large bogie wagons, of the type once widely used by PKP.  The older, smaller, bogie wagons and four-wheel wagons were used only for bringing the beet pulp back out from the factory to be spread in the fields.  Several Lyd2 locomotives and at least one Lxd2 were used for hauling beet trains, and WLs150 locomotives were used to haul trains of up to 70 empty four-wheel and small bogie wagons back to the factory.  In December 1999 the line north towards Walentynowo was seen to have been recently lifted, and the 2000 campaign was the last for the Nowa Wies branch, which has also now been lifted.  During the 2001 campaign the pattern of operation appeared to be a train of empties out from the factory hauled by Lxd2, followed by another train of empties hauled by Lyd2 and a train of pulp hauled by WLs150 (also taking out the track gang), passing the Lxd2 and Lyd2 as they headed back to the factory with loaded trains of beet.  Thus only three return workings ran each day, all at extremely low speed.  The factory has bought its own road lorries and the 2002 campaign is believed to have been the last for the railway.

A Video of Narrow Gauge Railways in Poland featuring this and other lines is available at http://www.btinternet.com/~thomsk/Videos.html


krus-1s.jpg (8765 bytes) krus-2s.jpg (8765 bytes) krus-3s.jpg (8765 bytes)
October 1996 October 1996 October 1996
Ex PKP Lyd2-101 on a train of beet near Kruszwica WLs150 heads an apparent works train following the Lyd2.
The 'coach' is believed to be an ex-PKP railcar
krus-4s.jpg (8765 bytes) krus-5s.jpg (8765 bytes) krus-6s.jpg (8765 bytes)
October 1996 October 1996 October 1996
WLs150 heading a loaded beet train down to the junction of the Nowa Wies branch with the Piotrkow line These 2 pictures give some oidea of the length of the beet trains on this system.
krus-7s.jpg (8765 bytes) krus-8s.jpg (8765 bytes)
October 1996 October 1996 October 1998
WLs150 shunting at Nowa Wies Lyd2 CK-01 at one of the loops between Piotrkow and the works Wagons of pulp being unloaded at the PKP Piotrkow Kujawskie station
October 1998 October 1998 October 1998
The Lyd2 is on the sugar works track, straight ahead is the PKP line to Sompolno An Lxd2 arrives at Piotrkow Kujawskie with a single wagon. Lyd2 and beet train heading towards the works from Nowa Wies.
October 1998 October 1998
The Nowa Wies line drops steeply to join the Piotrkow line A WLs150 heads back to the works with an incredible train of about 70 empty ancient wagons.

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