Znin System

Znin Railway
Zninska Kolej Powiatowa

Mapas.jpg (9344 bytes)The first section of the 600mm gauge Kleinbahn des Kreises Znin opened from Znin to Rogowa (19.4km) on 1 July 1894, together with a branch from Biskupin through Gasawa to Szelejewo (8.2km).  On 9 June 1895 the Rogowo line was extended by 12.3km to Osno.  In 1908 a branch to Ostrowce was added, and in 1911 a further 15.8km branch opened to Obiecanowo.  In the following year another 5.5km branch opened to Wola, and in 1913 the Szelejewo line was extended to Grochowiska Szlacheckie.  Finally, a 2km section from Obiecanowo to Zuzoly brought the system up to 78km.

On Polish independence the line became the Zninska Kolej Powiatowa but in 1949 it became part of PKP.  At this time the line carried about 800,000 tons of freight and 40,000 passengers annually.  However, passenger services ceased in 1962, and the Szelejewo – Grochowiska Szlacheckie section closed the following year.  In 1972 the Obiecanowo – Zuzoly section closed, together with the Wola branch and Rzym – Osno.  The Ostrowce line closed in the late 1970s, and the rest of the Obiecanowo line in 1992.  By this time freight traffic was mainly (if not exclusively) seasonal sugar beet traffic to the works in Znin.  Freight services were withdrawn in 1995 and the Rzym branch and Gasawa – Szelejewo section were closed.

In 1976, however, seasonal tourist passenger trains had returned to the Znin – Wenecja – Biskupin – Gasawa section, and these continue to operate.  The timetable varies from one year to another, but in 2000 it showed up to 6 trains per day each way, depending on time of year.  Services only run from April to September.  Trains have been operated by steam using Px38-805, although this does not appear to have been in operation for the last couple of years.  Otherwise trains are hauled by Lyd2 diesels.

The Wenecja Railway Museum opened in 1972, and contains a collection of at least 17 steam locomotives and a variety of rolling stock and other items.  It is situated beside the railway, but the display tracks are not connected to the running lines.  The museum area (all outdoors) is being extended, seemingly to accommodate items from the Bydgoszcz system.  A museum guide in Polish lists all the locomotives, dates, numbers and their location in the museum (although these have changed in some cases).  Although a German/English version is available it does not include this list.

The railway also runs past the archaeological museum at Biskupin, which has a wealth of information about the early settlement of Poland, and remains of one of the earliest settlements, discovered about 70 years ago.  It is well worth a visit.

Andrzej Rosiak’s book “Zninska Kolej Powiatowa 1894-1994” was published by Muzeum Ziemi Paluckiej in Znin to celebrate the centenary of the line, but copies of it do not appear to be available now.  However, the history of the line is also covered by Bogdan Pokropinski’s book on the railways of the Bydgoszcz area (see the page for that system).

Andrzej Rosiak's book 'Zninska Kolej Powiatowa 1894-1994' was published by Muzeum Ziemi Paluckiej in Znin to celebrate the centenary of the line, and copies may still be available.

The Line has 3 working Lyd2's, and Poland's last working 600mm Steam loco, a Px38.

Further information and photos can be found at Rafal Firlag’s site (in Polish) at: http://republika.pl/zkp/

Also at Steve Thomason's site: http://www.ingr.co.uk/

Map of  Znin area

3 Lyd2's at Znin
Lyd2-70 enters Znin Station
Lyd2-70 enters Znin Station
Lyd2's 52,55 & 66 on display at Znin Station 1994 (top) and 1996 (bottom)
1994, and Lyd2-70 enters the large S bend into Znin Station
The same location in 1996, this time Lyd2-068

Wenecja Station
Biskupin Station
Gaswa Station
Lyd2-70 waits to pass another train at Wenecja Station, the museum is in the background
Lyd2-068 on a crowded up train at Biskupin in 1995
Lyd2-70 waits at Gasawa Station in 1994
znin-97-2s.jpg (12791 bytes)
Znin Station, September 1999
Znin 1997, Lyd2's 64, 52,67 53,57 and 55 are stored here. Lyd2's 64, 67, & 53 have a German V12 engine and were recently transferred from Bialosliwie
1996 and Lyd2-068 stands at Gasawa
znin-97-1s.jpg (10194 bytes) znin-97-4s.jpg (12948 bytes)
Photo: Dave Meller
It's not true that Lyd2 drivers put oil on the cab roof to get it into the shed, but it's very close!
Lyd2-70 pokes out onto the main road, just enough to clear the points back to the turntable. This crossing leads to the now unused standard gauge exchange sidings. Aug 97
Lyd2-068 stops just outside Wenecja Station to unload a van full of fresh sleepers, Aug 97

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