Just back from Poland. Got sweaty, dirty and a bit overheated.
I spent an afternoon driving a steam locomotive from Leszno to Wolsztyn, with a commuter train coupled on the back. Yes, you can do that kind of thing in Poland: the rail and tourism authorities have seen the pulling power of steam and have allowed a private operator to offer “footplate experience” courses which allow anyone who wants to to go and drive and stoke steam engines on the national railway for a week. (STORY HERE)
The programme has been running for 14 years. It saved a few dozen jobs, and brought tourist dollars flowing in. It put one town – Wolsztyn – on the map, and brought even more visitors to Poznan, one of Poland’s nicest cities. It proves that there is a market for rail tourism. Transnet could have learned a few things before shutting this country’s rail tourism out in the cold, but that’s another story ….
Want to go and drive a steam locomotive on a proper railway? See the Wolsztyn Experience for details.
Steaming! Always knew chicks were loco.