I'm proud to be starting a thread in which we want to report on the progress of the restoration of a 1940-built Feldbahnlok built in 1940 in Chrzanów to a Henschel standard 'Riesa' design. The refurbishment works are carried out in Poland, so far without one central location.
The refurbishment will see the locomotive steaming and - while retaining as much original material as possible - we want her to be reliable in operation, so many parts will have to be replaced in the process.
Not a lot is known about the locomotive's history. She was supplied new to Bauunternehmung Heinrich Gietmann, Rheinberg. After the war she ended up in Poland and was used by Zakład Robót Kolejowych Warszawa, hauling gravel from a quarry probably until late 1960s. In early 1970s the locomotive found its way to a massive 600mm steam locomotive graveyard, where numerous 600mm 'Bauloks' met their fate as they were gradually displaced by the mass production of Wls50 ZNTK Poznań diesels and lorries. In case of our locomotive we found one of the cylinfer covers to be cracked - probably another justification for an early retirement. Luckily, unlike the majority of other locomotives, our little Riesa evaded the cutter's torch and was plinthed near a petrol station in Warsaw. In 1981 she was moved again to a playground in a park in Spała. From that place she was finally rescued by our friend - a quick money collection followed and the Riesa with three new lucky owners and a Wls50 diesel replacing it in the park - it may still be there!
Of course we would be grateful if any of the readers could tell us something more about the history of the locomotive.
More information can be found on the well known "Wciąż pod parą" website by Tomisław Czarnecki:
Riesa still in Spała.
Back in 2005 she was moved to Rogów:
Shortly after arrival she was dismantled but no repair works were actually carried out in Rogów, as can be read in internet. Instead parts were taken away for restoration, which is now gathering pace.
A lot has been done already:
- new front tubeplate, which was manufactured and skilfully rivetted onto the boiler by steam friends who came all the way from Sussex in England to give us a hand!
A freshly laid row of rivets:
Wheelsets were refurbished with new axles and pins. Wheel tyres were turned as there was enough material to turn them, but we have new ones as well.
Cylinders were turned on a lathe and now are ready for mounting on the frames:
At the moment work concentrates on the frames, which were shot blasted and thicknesses measured. As the locomotive spent all her years plinthed in the park without couplings the original holes were welded over in preparation for now buffers. After years of disuse the bottom plate of the well tank was nearly 1/4 of the original thickness, as all the dirt and water accumulated in the bottom of the well tank, so it will have to be replaced - of course there will be no welding where parts were originally riveted! In order for the bottom plate to be riveted back we will have to remove the top plate as well.
Top parts of the framework were cut out and replacecd with new material due to insufficient thickenss:
I will be updating the report as work progresses!