Technical background

The Minister of Transport, Piotr Lewiński meeting the workers of ZNLE in Gliwice on the 20th anniversary of the works

After World War II manufacturing plants started rising from the ruins. The first post-war designs of wagons and carriages were developed from February 1945 at the construction department of the Cegielski Factory in Poznań, shortly renamed as the Central Construction Bureau and in 1951 as the Central Rolling Stock Industry Construction Bureau. Still in February 1945 the First Polish Locomotive Factory (in short Fablok) in Chrzanów commenced the assembly of steam locomotives of the wartime series BR52 (Ty42). In 1946 the factory released Ty45 steam locomotives (174 vehicles) built on the basis of the pre-war Ty37 model. From 1947 the factory produced Pt47 locomotives (120 vehicles) designed on the basis of the Pt31 model. In subsequent years Fablok manufactured new steam locomotives of TKt48 series (115 vehicles), Ol49 series (116 vehicles), TKh Ferrum 47 (437 vehicles), TKb 1B “Baziel” (20 vehicles), fireless TKb 1U (36 vehicles), T2D SLA TKp “Śląsk” (390 vehicles) and “WP” steam locomotives for export to India (30 vehicles). The last locomotive left Fablok in 1963. It was a TKp “Śląsk” locomotive with construction number 6296.


Apprentices at the school of the Electric Locomotives Repair Company in Gliwice

In 1952 Fablok commenced the production of diesel locomotives for the needs of PKP and industrial plants, starting from the Ls40, followed by the SM42 shunter (1,822 vehicles). The last diesel locomotives left the factory in 1992. In total 4,868 diesel locomotives of various types were produced in Chrzanów.


A locomotive depot in Zduńska Wola-Karsznice – the 1980s

The H. Cegielski Metal Works in Poznań started their operation from assembling BR52 (Ty42) locomotives, followed by Ty43 (German BR42; 124 vehicles), parallel to Ty45 (258 vehicles). Later they built Pt47 (60 vehicles), TKt48 (82 vehicles) and finally the heaviest Polish steam locomotives – Ty51 (232 vehicles), equipped with mechanical coal feeders (stokers), and “Er” steam locomotives exported to the USSR (895 vehicles). In 1953 – 1956 the works were named after Stalin and were referred to in short as ZISPO.


In 1962 “Cegielski” produced a series of diesel wagons with hydraulic transmission called 5M (SN80; 13 wagons), and in 1970 it launched the production of the 301Da line diesel locomotives (SP45; 265 vehicles) with 1700 HP for the Polish State Railways.


Inside the H. Cegielski factory in Poznań – respective stages of production of wagons and locomotives

In subsequent years 303D diesel locomotives (Co-Co) and 203E and 203Ea electric locomotives (Bo-Bo+Bo-Bo) were produced. In addition, the factory produced passenger carriages, sleeping cars, couchettes, restaurant cars, and luggage wagons, meant for local traffic, including carriages exported to the USSR, Greece, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Morocco and Hungary. In total 1,751 steam locomotives, 784 electric and diesel locomotives and approx. 14,000 wagons and carriages were released from the factory after World War II.


Another manufacturer was the Rolling Stock Repair Workshop in Ostrów Wielkopolski (formerly known as the Wagon Factory). Starting from 1947 all refrigerator cars and from 1948 – four-axle passenger and restaurant carriages were built there. In the mid-1960s the Plant also offered four-axle covered freight wagons, and in the mid-1970s – two-axle covered wagons.


The Ostrowiec Plant in Warsaw (formerly WSABP) did not resume the production of rolling stock. On the other hand, the former Ostrowiec Plant in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski (after 1945 known as Ostrowiec Steelworks, in 1952 renamed as the Nowotko Steelworks and then the Ostrowiec Steelworks again) produced coal wagons and two-axle flat wagons with side boards until 2003. In particular 2Z flat wagons were produced on a mass scale as more than 8 thousand such wagons were assembled in Ostrowiec.


The Sanowag Factory in Sanok resumed the production of covered wagons, coal wagons and flat wagons in 1945. It also dealt with repairs of damaged rolling stock. The last tank cars left the factory in 1953.


The plant in Chorzów, until 1939 known as the Processing Workshop, and operating as “Osmag” during the war as part of the Reichswerke Hermann Göring concern, despite being considerably devastated, in 1945 was renamed as Mostowagon and resumed production. From 1949 it operated as the Chorzów Steel Structure Manufacturing Plant “Konstal” (in 1997 bought by GEC Alsthom, now known as ALSTOM).


The construction department assembled covered wagons, self-discharging hopper-dozator wagons and well wagons which could carry loads weighing 40, 100 and 120 tons. In 1957 an eighteen-axle Schnabel car (17Z) with a loading capacity of 164 tons was produced for the transportation of transformers, and 5 years later – a sixteen-axle car (606Z) with a loading capacity of 230 tons.


In the 1980s, in cooperation with the American company NORCA, Konstal produced Schnabel cars with various numbers of axles: 12, 16, 32 (on 8 four-axle bogies with a capacity of 500 tons) and 24 (on 8 three-axle bogies with a capacity of 250 tons). The range of products also included self-discharging wagons (425V, 902V), filling sand self-discharging wagons (15W, 22W, 401V), container flat cars (213Z), and tankers (450R – for fuel, 451R – for liquefied gas). Currently, the company is the producer of Metropolis metro trains, among other things.


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© Całość praw autorskich - Antoni Bochen, Filip Wiśniewski