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Coal Towers

In 1947, Poland purchased four such reinforced concrete equipment for carburizing steam locomotives from the American company Ross and White from a fund other than the fund intended for purchases at UNRRA (!). Secondly ; The tower in Warsaw is one of the two with a container capacity of 300 tons (the second tower is 300 tons in Kraków), while the other two towers in Gdynia and Tarnowskie Góry are with 500 tons containers. Thirdly: All parts, including company plates (I saw one with my own eyes) and construction documentation, were imported from the USA from Ross and White. Reinforced concrete structures based on American documentation were made in Poland by Polish railway companies subordinate to Polish railways.There are many differences between the Fairbankx and Rosse and White buildings.

In the USA, in Sullivan, there is a 500-tonne bunker tower made in 1941 by the “Ross and White” company, the same as that built in Poland.

Fairbanks Morse 400 Ton Concrete Steam Locomotive Coaling Tower

You can see a full plan of a Fairbanks Morse 400 tower built in an unbelievably detailed kit offered by Tichy Train group. A sample image from the plans that are in this kit are to the left.


The towers in Poland, as one sees them today, are but part of what was once a complete steam engine service area.

The towers loaded steam engines with coal and sand.

Near each there was an ash pit and watering facility.  The water columns were necessarily supplied by water towers, information about which we currently lack.

Little information is currently available about these service areas.

The coal towers were made in two and three track versions.  The tower in Odolany, Warsaw is a two track version.

Click To Watch Video

A video showing my early morning visits to the tower is really quite informative and has been posted for the historical record.  You are invited to watch it on youtube at this link.





A tower required a sand house that would blow sand up into the tower sand hopper.

It also required a hoist house that would power the coal hoist.






The ash pit for the Warsaw Tower can be seen in an aerial view in Google earth. How the ash was removed from the pit is not known to the author.

Most of the piping, landings and cables are missing. Pictures and/or plans are being sought.

The links below present other information about coaling towers in Poland More about the tower at Odolany.  –  –  –  –

Wieża do obrządzania parowozów

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