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Ostróda Workshop Marks 150 Years: A Legacy of Railcar Mastery with GATX Rail Europe

Ostróda Workshop Marks 150 Years: A Legacy of Railcar Mastery with GATX Rail Europe
photo: GATX Rail Europe/Ostróda Workshop Marks 150 Years: A Legacy of Railcar Mastery with GATX Rail Europe
12 / 10 / 2023

In a momentous celebration with 500+ attendees, GATX Rail Europe marked the 150th anniversary of its in-house railcar workshop located in Ostróda, Poland. The workshop has not only stood the test of time but has also played a pivotal role in the region’s employment landscape as the third largest employer in and around Ostróda. The event brought together key figures, including the CEO of GATX Rail Europe and the Mayor of Ostróda, to commemorate this historic milestone.

A Legacy of Railcar Service Excellence

Ostróda, a picturesque town in northern Poland, has been home to the railcar workshop for over a century and a half. The facility has been a cornerstone of the community, providing employment opportunities and contributing to the growth of the railcar industry in the region. Johann Feindert, CEO of GATX Rail Europe, proudly stated, “Ostróda is our largest in-house workshop for maintenance and it is the shop where we assemble and adapt special edition tank railcars with precision and expertise.” Over the years, the workshop has continued to expand and evolve, meeting the demands of an ever-changing railcar market. The celebration not only marks the workshop’s rich history but also acknowledges its vital role in the company’s success.

A Grand Celebration with the Mayor

The celebration kicked off at the workshop. Visitors had the opportunity to venture safely inside the halls to witness the heart of the operation and discover an array of different railcar types in front of the workshop. Invitees included all WSO staff, their friends and family as well as the Mayor of Ostróda. The GATX Rail Europe Executive Team was also in attendance. After the visit, the guests were transported to a picnic location to celebrate together with food, drinks, and entertainment for the families.

Zbigniew Michalak, Mayor of Ostróda, underlined the local importance of the workshop. “The WSO workshop is a place that brings generations together – my grandfather worked here as well and so have many families for generations, making it the oldest and third largest employer of the greater Ostróda area,” he said.

Johann Feindert addressed the crowd, saying, “This workshop is not just a place of work; it’s a symbol of our commitment to Ostróda and to railcar service excellence. It’s a testament to the dedication of our team here.”

Sławomir Garwacki, Managing Director of the Ostróda Workshop, also shared his enthusiasm for the workshop’s contributions to the community. “We employ more than 350 people in our workshop and are very involved in the community with outreach programs to welcome even more new colleagues in the future,” he said.

Looking to the Future

This winter, the workshop teams will also be celebrating the assembly of the 1,000th multi-purpose champion LPG railcar at the workshop. Sławomir Garwacki emphasizes the company’s ongoing need for skilled workers, particularly welders, inviting anyone interested to join their team.

In celebrating 150 years of railcar excellence in Ostróda, GATX Rail Europe not only pays tribute to its rich history but also looks forward to a promising future. The workshop’s legacy is deeply woven into the fabric of Ostróda, and it continues to be the heart of GATX Rail Europe’s promise to keep railcars moving.

Source: GATX Rail Europe