|GP: Touristic-educational Railway in Knyszynska Primeval Forest - Poland|
Project Details & Results
In XIX-XX century very wide networks or separate units of narrow-gauge railways were constructed, serving eg. sugar-plant with farmers producing sugar-beets in vicinity, very short ones - serving brick-yards or - serving forest area with intensive exploitation of forest resources; Gradually truck transportation replaced all narrow-gauge railways, which became uneconomical (?). In Poland this process started in 1970s, and until now in early XXI century process is going on. What is worse - it is exposed to dismantling the track and all facilities (very often - simply robbery of rail track, devastation of facilities (buildings,all technical infrastructure). It is the case of the reconstruction of the old railway in Knyszynska Primeval Forest for touristic and educational purposes. Connecting Bialystok with two existing didactic paths in Knyszynska Forest will have a huge potential for further development and self-financing if properly managed and with good marketing.
Project is implemented succesfully with one year delay due to unexpected barriers: 1.initial very hostile, jealous attitude of track owner - forest authority, that was gradually overcome during 2 years; very unfriendly attitude of the road management (track is passing through the regional and state roads, reconsruction of the track had to receive permission for works from these authorities) forcing our grantee to very lengthy procedures, growing number of permissions and neccesary, before never claimed, technical permissions and studies, technical designs. Many of these claims, which at the end of the day creates delays were caused by the lack of knowledge concerning changed laws, rules and simply - sometimes the lack of good will from responsible institutions perceiving reconstruction of narrow-gauge railway as a funny game of some crazy people.
This Project is part of the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) implemented in collaboration with UNDP