The first section of this 750mm gauge line opened in 1886 as an industrial railway serving the sugar factory at Opalenica, which was later opened as a public railway. The main depot and standard gauge interchange were at Opalenica, on the Poznan – Berlin line. At one time there were lines to Komorowo (34km), Nowy Tomysl (18km from the junction at Trzcianka Zachodnia), Duszniki (10km from Trzcianka Zach.), Turowo (9km from Sliwno on the Duszniki branch) and Sedziny (10km from Rudniki Dwor I) giving a total network length of 81km. In 1989 there were 53km of lines (presumably Opalenica – Lwowek with branches to Nowy Tomysl and Duszniki), and annual traffic was 217,183 passengers and 94,065 tons of freight.
In July 1994 passenger services were worked by Romanian-built rail-cars and freight services (which appeared to be virtually limited to seasonal sugar beet trains) by Lxd2 diesels. The main line terminated at Lwowek, and the branch to Duszniki was open for freight only. The line from Trzcianka Zach. towards Nowy Tomysl had only recently been lifted. Steam-hauled excursions were on offer, using a Px48 and ‘traditional’ coaches, and there was an outdoor museum adjacent to Opalenica station.
A further visit in September 1995 found that the line had recently closed to all traffic, and a bus had been laid on for passengers. There were hopes that a local group would be able to take over the line, which was the oldest narrow gauge railway in Wielkopolska. However, by October 1996 the historic rolling stock from the museum had been removed, and the ‘traditional’ coaches (and possibly the working Px48) had been moved to Sroda. By October 1997 there was little stock remaining on the railway, although the track was still in-situ. Some special trains were operated in 2000, and in September 2001 it was reported that passenger trains had started running again between Opalenica and Trzcianka Zach., with extension to Lwowek planned. A visit in November 2001 found a timetable at Trzianka showing a quite frequent service, but this was not running. Personnel at Opalenica confirmed that the only trains on offer were to order, at a price of 2000zl. for a return working to Lwowek. A Lxd2 and Lyd1 diesels are operational, with a Px48 steam locomotive in the shed, on which work is believed to be starting in January 2002. However by the following November the site looked deserted and clearly no trains had run for some time.
Maciej Matuszewski's book "Z dziejow Opalenickiej Kolei Dojazdowej 1896-1991”, published by Poznanski Klub Modelarzy Kolejowych in 1991 is unfortunately no longer available.
|September 1995||September 1995|
|A Px48 heads some "dead" vintage rolling stock at Opalenica
only weeks after the line closed.
|A mixture of traditional and Romanian rolling stock in front of the works|
|September 1995||October 1996|
|More traditional rolling stock at Opalenica||By 1996 all that was left in the former 'skansen' was decaying rolling
Goodwin, Stephen Goodwin & Dave Meller