Tag Archives: Poznań

DAILY POST: A Tram Navigates the Streets of Poznan.

Poland, May 2000.

Polish tram
I exposed this image in Poznan on Fujichrome Sensia 100 using my Nikon F3T with 24mm lens. Although the sky was dull, I felt the lighting suited the scene. Moments after I exposed this slide, I boarded the tram and rode to a bleak austere junction in the outskirts of Poznan. The thrill was not in my destination, but in getting there (and back again.) I went out on the No.1 and came back on the No. 7. For me the most difficult part of the journey was figuring out where to obtain tram tickets!

I was visiting Poland for the first time in May 2000. While part of the inspiration for my trip was to investigate steam operations at Wolsztyn and elsewhere, I also spent time wandering around cities in the western part of the country.

One morning, I explored Poznan, where I found an extensive electric tram system. The old part of the town had cobble stone streets and interesting architecture, while the post-war outskirts featured rows of austere monolithic high-rise apartment blocks.

I only rode a few of the tram routes, but my literature indicates that network extended for some 56 route miles. The tram pictured here is a standard Polish Konstal car of a type common to many Polish cities.

For me, Poland was like finding an unexplored realm, full of railways with something new at every turn. Over the last decade, I’ve made several subsequent trips to Poland, and numerous excursions across eastern Europe.

See earlier Tracking the Light posts for Polish steam photos:

Polish Time Machine

Revenue Steam in Poland, April 2002

Polish Steam Working Disused Track-Part 2

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Revenue Steam in Poland, April 2002

Regularly scheduled revenue steam-powered passenger train in rural Poland in April 2002.
Regularly scheduled revenue steam-powered passenger train in rural Poland in April 2002.

As a follow up to yesterday’s view of a 2-10-0 on disused track, here’s a view of a regular revenue train from that same visit to Poland in April 2002. On a scheduled run from Poznan to Wolsztyn, PKP Ol69-111 passes German-style semaphores on approach to a rural station. At this time, several of the daily passenger Poznan-Wolzstyn trains routinely operated with steam, with Ol69 class 2-6-2s being the most common type on them. This was a secondary main line, and  although weedy, the track was in reasonably good shape. Chasing the trains on the road was a challenge.

I made this image with my Rollei Model T on 120 black & white film, hand processed using my preferred recipe. The combination of traditional subject matter and the classic camera with 75mm Zeiss Tessar lends to a timeless view. Only, the rake of East German-built double-deck passenger carriages might seem incongruous to un-trained eyes. In fact, these cars were standard in the late era and consistent with Polish passenger practice. In this picture they are dressed in a olive drab livery, however some were later painted in a dandelion yellow, which truly seems out of character behind steam.

Check Tracking the Light tomorrow for more on this theme!

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