Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Coal train sidings, Okęcie

The Warsaw-Radom railway line runs close to ul. Trombity; at the north end of the street, the line is less than 100 yards away. An electrified dual-track line takes passenger and goods traffic south out of Warsaw, and running parallel to it is a single, unelectrified freight line that serves Warsaw's power station in Siekierki. Coal from the Silesian fields is delivered in 40-wagon trains to the sidings at Okecie, just north of Jeziorki. These trains are hauled by state-owned PKP electric engines; from Okecie to Siekierki, via an intermediary goods yard at Konstancin-Jeziorna, private-sector diesel power takes over.

Soviet-built 'Gagarins' (ST44s) or 'Tamaras' (TEM2s) take the long coal trains down the line, past W-wa Dawidy, W-wa Jeziorki (my particular stretch of rail), on past Nowa Iwiczna, where the single line curves away from the electrified main line. Through the industrial northern edges of Piaseczno passes the line, before reaching Konstancin-Jeziorna. There's a change of motive power, and the final 14 kilometers takes the trains to the power station. In summer the trains are shorter and run less often, in winter, sometimes a second engine is needed to haul the load.

Above is a shot taken from the southern end of the Okecie marshalling yard. You can see the front of a 'Tamara' (blue and yellow loco), to its left is a full coal train, to its right is an empty rake of wagons. On the far right is a Rumanian-built ST43 'Rumun' loco. Okecie airport is to the left of the frame.

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