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Report - Lodz Olechow East Train Depot - Lodz - Poland - August 2013

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by bhg, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. bhg

    bhg In Search of Lost Time
    Regular User

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    While visiting my hometown Lodz this summer I decided to check the Second World War bunkers by the Lodz Olechow East Train Depot. I spent ages there trying to find all of them, hardly being spotted by transport police or the train drivers. I was wandering around the abanoned part of the depot, but from time to time had to cross the live track, walking by hundreds of amazing locomotives. I took quite a lot of pictures of them, but it was still not enough for me (because I loooove trains), so decided to come back few days later.
    I have lots of memories from this place, my parents lived not far from there, and when I was a teenager I used to spend ages, sitting by the track, watching moving trains and drinking cheap wine with my friends... Great years :) but I always knew about the sad history of it.

    Lodz Olechow Train Depot was built during the Second World War by Jewish from the Lodz ghettos, it quickly become one of the biggest train depot in Europe, with its own water tower, roundhouse (now demolished), passengers station (closed in 1960), police station, cinema and other buildings. It was tactically important to the war effort and it had 6 air raid shelters within the site. Shortly after the depot was completed Jewish workers were transported and later exterminated in Auschwitz and Chelmno camps.

    I decided to cycle there again one sunny morning, telling my mum, that I'm not checking bunkers this time, I'm only going for a ride. I got to the site again, and again I was in love :) I left my bike by the abandoned part and started walking on the track, hiding between locomotives and admiring them :) I checked amazing old water tower, which sadly wasn't accessible.. There was plenty of disused tracks, miles of them... As I got closer to the live part of depot I could more and more transport police on site and train drivers. Well, they still seemed oblivious to my presence.
    I was still quite safe , crawling by the last locomotives, that were parked on the track by the big trains maintenance sheds. but then I had to make a quick decision to run through the open space to get to the other side of the depot. Well, so I did.. And there was even more amazing engines everywhere. Unfortunately soon after, I got spotted by one transport police guy (who probably saw me on one of the cameras) and was asked to leave the site.. So I did apologise (saying that I didn't really know that I can't jump over the gate if it's locked) and left just to come back from the other side and head straight into the train maintenance sheds.. And it looked beautiful inside, locomotives everywhere, old, new all sorts of them... After taking some pics there I again decided to try my luck and got inside one of them.. So I did :) and while squeezing to the front of the engine I heard a voice saying - what are you doing here miss? I froze and stupidly said - nothing hahahaha.. It was actually one of the maintenace engineers working inside there. Then I had a quick chat with him, telling him about my over two hours adventure, which quite amused him tbh. When we left the engine, there was already about 15 train drivers and maintenance guys around, they told me, that I was seen before, while being escorted out by transport police guy, and then they saw me running back from the other side.. Well these guys were actually very friendly, one of them had a birthday this day, so I was offered a beer, which I drunk with them, listening to stories about the depot and trains. And then, which was a most amazing part of my trip I got a chance to ride one of the engines!!! yaaaaaay! After drinking a beer I cycled back home, finding myself on the wrong side of the road..
    I love trains :)
    Enjoy...

    Track

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    Police station

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    Water Tower:

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    Disused locomotive:

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    Locomotives:

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    Live site:

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    Me :)

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    inside Train Maintenance Sheds:

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    And inside the locomotive:

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    #1 bhg, Aug 6, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
    bigbadash, Tomw1989 and slayaaaa like this.

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  2. volker

    volker 28DL Member
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    Dear bhg,
    you are the first one, who wrote something about the Olechow railway station and the origin in the world war II in the www.
    I found out that in 1943 about 500 jews where punished by the German police (SS) in the camp. There is still a surviving person living in Australia, who told me about the labour camp on the telephone. He was sent to Ausschwitz at the end of 1943, when the camp was suspended and he was one of the survivors of the Holocaust.
    Now, my motivation for my researches is, that my father was born in Andrespol in 1941. His family came from Germany, Schwaben (mother) and the Kachubai (father) about 1800 to Borowo and to Bukowiec. But my family didn`t tell anything about their lives in Poland. But I wanted to know more, and I found out a lot about them.
    Now I am still the only person in the family who knows, that there was this camp in the direct neighbourhood of Andrespol. The old ones must have known about it... but they never speak (spoke) about it.
    I would be very happy, if you could tell me more about the present condition of the railway station. Is it possible to identify the historical buildings of the camp? Do you know more about the history of the camp, the railway station and do you know if some historian did some research about it ?
    I would be very thankful, if you would answer me.
    Best regards
    Volker
     
  3. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

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    Trainnnss, very nice, cheers for sharing, only just seen this. :)
     
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