A freight wagon produced by the L. Zieleniewski Polish Machinery and Railway Carriages Factory

Rolling stock industry in Poland

In the territory under Russian rule, the company Lilpop & Rau was established in Warsaw in 1855 as a result of the transformation of the Foundry and Government Machine Factory which operated from 1818. Lilpop & Rau was transformed in 1868 into Lilpop, Rau & Loewenstein – a company specialising, among other things, in the production of railway carriages, rails and agricultural machinery. In 1873 the Industrial Society of the Lilpop, Rau & Loewenstein Mechanical Factory was founded. The company grew and in the 1880s it comprised 14 enterprises in the territory under Russian rule and in Russia alone. It had its permanent agencies in St Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Tbilisi, Odessa and Baku. Apart from the above-mentioned products the company produced or assembled parts into, among other things: locomotives, tram cars, bus bodies, steam engines, and elements of railway and city bridges. The company operated in such a form until 1944.


In Galicia, a factory that stood out from others was the Kazimierz Lipiński Drilling Machinery and Tools Factory, Boiler Factory and Iron Foundry in Sanok, in 1894 transformed into a joint stock company known as the First Galician Railway Carriage and Machinery Construction Factory Ltd, and from 1913 forming part of the concern L. Zieleniewski Machinery and Railway Carriages Factory Ltd in Kraków, Lviv and Sanok. Lipiński started from building locomobiles, steel tanks and structures. In 1891 his factory produced the first 4 flat wagons with swivelling bolsters for the transportation of wood.

The L. Zieleniewski Factory also produced special-purpose carriages and wagons: a saloon carriage for corpse transportation
A stock of the L. Zieleniewski and Fitzner-Gamper United Machinery, Boiler and Railway Carriages Factor
Inside a mail carriage

The designs were made by copying details of carriages passing through the station in nearby Zagórze. The first products were positively received, resulting in an order of 50 covered carriages. Over the following 3 years the factory manufactured 43 mail and conductor carriages and 100 coal wagons. An interesting fact was the construction of a special saloon carriage for corpse transportation commissioned by the Funeral Company in Vienna. It was used during the funeral ceremonies of Archduke Albrecht and Empress Elizabeth. The factory received a written note of acknowledgment from the Ministry of the Court, the Ministry of Railways and from the customer.

A mail carriage produced by the L. Zieleniewski Polish Machinery and Railway Carriages Factory

After 1918 the factory was awarded government contracts for the production of 8 thousand freight wagons and 2 thousand passenger carriages, reaching the record-breaking level of 1,395 vehicles in 1923. The reduction of the ordered quantities due to budget savings and the following economic crisis decreased the production volume. In the mid-1930s the manufacturer received more orders for the construction of four-axle carriages: passenger, tourist, mail and luggage carriages and trailer cars for electric trains. Freight wagons included: covered wagons, coal wagons, flat wagons, flat wagons with a swivelling bolster, wagons for transporting beer, multi-tank cars (for the transportation of oil products, illuminating gas), tank cars (for the transportation of spirit, chlorine, liquid ammonia, nitric acid and sulphuric acid), special stoneware cars for the transportation of hydrochloric acid, covered refrigerator cars for the transportation of poultry, and passenger carriages, heater cars, mail carriages and steam locomotive tenders. Also, narrow-gauge rolling stock was produced, including both passenger cars and freight wagons. In 1935 the factory assembled 3 rail cars (nos. 90092-94) with mechanical transmission and a Ganz-Jendrassik motor. They were mounted at the wagon assembly shop in Skarżysko. From 1891 to 1953 the factory in Sanok produced a total of 30,560 rolling stock items.

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© Całość praw autorskich - Antoni Bochen, Filip Wiśniewski