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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » March 27, 2013
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Steam Locomotives on Parade
March 27, 2013   
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The 20th annual Steam Locomotives Parade will be held April 27 and 28 at the historic engine house in Wolsztyn near the western city of Poznań.

Owned by the PKP Cargo company, the historic Wolsztyn engine house is 106 years old, which makes it the oldest structure of its kind in Poland. Engine houses of such pedigree are a rarity in this part of Europe, if not around the world, and thousands flock to Wolsztyn every year to see the historic facility. The Wolsztyn engine house is the only one in the world to house steam locos that are still used on scheduled routes. Ol-49 locomotives (pictured) are used on train services between Poznań and Wolsztyn five days a week, while on weekends they are used on special trains ferrying tourists and railroad fans. Every year, the steam locomotives cover a total distance of around 100,000 km in the Wielkopolska region.

The engine house in Wolsztyn is probably most famous for the annual Steam Locomotives Parade which PKP Cargo has been organizing for 20 years. In recent years, each parade has attracted over 25,000 visitors. The 20th, jubilee parade is expected to draw at least 20 steam locomotives from Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and, of course, Poland.

As each year, the event will feature several special attractions, including a show entitled Light, Sound and Steam with performances by popular stage artists. The special guest will be pop singer Oceana, whose hit from last year, “Endless Summer,” was the official song of the Euro 2012 European Soccer Championships.

Visitors to the Steam Locomotives Parade will also cheer on engine drivers as they compete in an unusual agility competition. Their task will be to lean out of the window of a speeding locomotive, pick up a glass of water from a podium placed by the track and put it down on another podium several hundred meters further down without spilling a drop.
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