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2017 | 26 | 2(51) | 89-104

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Teobald Neumann (1899–1985), engineer who rendered great service to traction Polish State Railways

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Teobald Wilhelm Neumann was born on September 10 1899 in Władysławów near Turek. He came from a Polonized German family. He was thoroughly educated and graduated with an engineer diploma at the Gdańsk Technical University (Technische Hochschule zu Danzig), where he studied at the Department of Electrotechnology, Machine and Ship Construction. After completing his apprenticeship, in 1924 he started working for the Polish State Railways in Gdańsk, in the sector of traction service. On September 19 1929, he was qualified as an inspector of steam engines. In the 30s, Neumann held many managerial posts connected with traction service in the Administration of the State Railways in Toruń and Krakow. During interwar period he topped his professional career being promoted to the head of Kapuścisko Tranzytowe engine house (currently Bygdoszcz Wschód), which belonged to the French-Polish Railway Association. After the outbreak of the war, when wanted by the secret German police (Gestapo), he escaped to General-Government, where he worked as a clerk in a local government unit. On August 28 1944, T. Neumann took up work at the Department of Communication of the Polish Committee of National Liberation and was appointed as head of mechanical service of the State Railways Regional Administration in Lublin. At the beginning of 1945, he was transferred to an equal post to Poznań. On August 1 1948, Neumann began his work for the Mechanical Department of the Transport Ministry in Warsaw, where on December 1 1951, he was promoted to Deputy Director of the Ministry’s Mechanical Department. On January 1 1956, he became Director of the Central Carriage Board. From November 6 1962, he was managing organisation of the Technology Department of the Transport Ministry and became its Director on January 1 1963. After retiring on September 30 1966, in 1966–1975 Neumann continued his work at the Central Institute of Research and Studies of the Railways Development Technology in Warsaw. Teobald Neumann was not a constructor of rolling stock but his accomplishments were connected with exploitation of traction and carriage rolling stock, as well as with organisation of traction and carriage service. His greatest achievement was in the field of education – as the author of numerous publications concerning railways, among which the most valuable was Podręcznik dla maszynisty parowozowego [Manual for steam-engine drivers]. The book was published twice. For 24 years he was also an editor of Przegląd Kolejowy Mechaniczny. On April 1 1939 in Bydgoszcz, Neumann married Helena Topczewska (1912-2003). He had two sons – Jerzy Teobald Neumann, born on February 24 1942, and Stefan Piotr Neumann, born on May 6 1947. Both of them continued their father’s professional tradition and worked at the Central Institute of Research and Studies of the Railways Development Technology in Warsaw. Teobald Neumann died in Warsaw on July 10 1985 and was buried on the local Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession.


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