Local Trio Promotes Trains, Trolleys and Travel to Poland

Three area men are tapping into their shared mutual interests to collaborate on a unique travel offering to Poland where they will lead paricipants on a journey featuring trains and trolleys.

The three men, retired Peters Township, Pa., opthalmologist Dr. William Fronczek, former Peters Township school supervisor Jack Samuels, and Bethel Park, Pa., artist and former nonprofit special events director Dave Motak, have traveled together to Central Europe and share a keen interest in vintage transportation. The idea was conceived a few years ago during a trip in Poland when the men discussed merging their joint interests into a special tour package.

They will host their tour offering “Panorama of Poland — Trains, Trolleys and Tradition,” Sept. 10-24.

Samuels and Fronczek are both active volunteers with the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, Pa., which boasts one of the largest collections of operating vintage trolleys in the United States. Motak and Fronczek share an interest in Polish culture and have both served as board members of the Polish Cultural Council, a Polish cultural organization in western Pennsylvania.

As their excursion will feature both cultural attractions as well as several key vintage travel experiences, the trio hopes to attract interested travelers not only from the ethnic community but also individuals who appreciate transportation history.

The men have been impressed with the great strides made in Poland in recent years.

“With its recent economic growth, Poland has become a dynamic, modern country with a proud history,” Samuels said. It is considered a safe, relatively inexpensive travel option and has recently been rated by some of the leading travel agencies as one of the top tourist destinations for 2018.”

The men noted that, while it is changing rapidly, Poland has also retained its rich folk culture, traditional cuisine and many time-honored symbols of its proud history.

“As Poland modernizes,” Fronczek observed, ” the Poles have also carefully preserved key elements of their former transportation systems that are now showcased in special heritage parks and featured in excursions in the Polish countryside. As a result, Poland now offers some of the most significant collections of operating vintage train and trolley vehicles in the world.”

Fronczek added that, although Poland is acquiring a strong reputation as one of the hottest places to travel in Europe, its rich vintage transportation offerings are only now being discovered.

“Our tour is probably the first one to showcase this aspect of the Polish tourist scene, while still offering plenty of the usual cultural attractions.”

Designed for both the “first timer” as well as the seasoned Poland traveler, the trip includes city tours of Warsaw, Krakow and Gdansk on the Baltic Coast. Guests will have the opportunity to ride Poland’s new Pendolino high speed train from Warsaw to the massive Malbork Castle, one of the largest Medieval fortifications in Europe. Guests will also be treated to a cruise on the historic 1844 Elblag Canal, enjoy amber shopping and a city tour aboard a vintage trolley in Gdansk, and attend a concert on the 5,100 pipe Baroque organ in Oliwa Cathedral, among other excursions.

Motak and Samuels have been organizing specialized small group tours to Poland and Central Europe since 2004. These began in response to requests from friends who knew of Motak’s special events experience and extensive background in Poland’s history and culture.

For more information, visit www.janddtours.net.