by Roelof Hamoen
  Eighth trip - year 2001 again


June 26

DB 219 155 in Kostrzyn with an early train to Berlin Lichtenberg. German Railways try to get get rid of these 'U-Boote', built in Romania. They are notorious for their technical failures. Maybe next time a 'Talent' or other modern railcar will be used on this service.... One of the few Polish railcars can be seen on line 424 (Chojnice-Koscierzyna). The question is how much longer, because the 'G' in the timetable means that these trains can be suspended. With 'Dutch' clouds 121 003 + 101 003 arrives as train 2238 in Chojnice. At least this kind of trains, though not very attractive for railfans, reduces the costs of exploitation.

June 27


Make yourself at home! This ST44 644 has curtains and maybe a coffeepot inside. Together with ST44 878 she pulls a train with Fals-wagons full of stone from Las Suwalski to Sokolka, where an ET22 will take over. Here in Sidra the freight is meeting the fast train 77113 (pulled by SU45) to Suwalki.

June 28

ST44 878 and SM42 067 with a train to Lithuania, leaving Suwalki at 8.15. The line to Sestokai was reopened in 1991. This is the only direct raillink between Poland and Lithuania. Its importance may grow because it avoids the territory of Byelorussia. ST44 878 has 'lost' SM42 067 and is busy with shunting in the Lithuanian borderstation of Mockava (Lith) / Mackowo (Pol), where LG exchange freight wagons with PKP. Here the night train with PKP-coaches with flexible axles changes the gauge. This train departs from Warszawa Zachodnia on uneven dates, the train from Vilnius departs on even dates. Two daily trains in each direction completes the service between Suwalki and Sestokai, one of them with a post wagon (91021/91002). The former DR 120 304, a gift from Germany in connexion with the withdrawal of Russian troops from there, has kept her number but looks LG-green now. In 1994 I saw the same loco in Svencioneliai (Lithuania) at a scrapyard in German red livery. So she must have been rescued from there. This 'M62' is one of the very few Lithuanian diesels for 1435 mm gauge now and is doing the shunting and tripwork between Sestokai and Mackowo, where she can meet with her Polish sister ST44. On the background an installation for transferring chemicals: on the left the normal gauge, on the right the broad gauge. 'Crossplatform' in Sestokai: the leftside is for broad gauge to Vilnius/Alytus, the rightside is standard gauge. SU45 060 is ready for departure with train 91020 to Suwalki. Today I'm the only passenger. You may get a VIP-feeling: I guess at least fifteen officials from customs, borderpolice and railways have been busy with checking me... The reason for this is quite simple: there is no Lithuanian train connecting to the 91020. But in the opposite direction (train 91001) the two coaches (one A and one B) are well filled because a train with M62 and three coaches connects to Vilnius.


Not only steel, wood, coal and other heavy stuff is transfering between the two gauges in Sestokai. Here even used mattresses are loaded in a broadgauge waggon.