Today I had a real adventure. Through the 'back door' that everyone uses I intruded deeply into the dead forges area, the one I mentioned earlier.
Here is that back door, an open shunting area:
See, no fence between the streets and the railways.
Just when I had documented the most fantastic appliance - a device to tip a railway coal carriage sideways if not upside down, so as to empty it contents onto a conveyor belt - I was discovered by three serious-looking security men. Of course I attacked them furiously rather than to wait for them to attack me, but they must have had the karate black belt, or else I would have got away easily. They took me to their office and explained my rights in Polish, which was futile because I don't understand a word of Polish. This I explained in English, French, German and Dutch, but that was futile as well.
Then they pointed at my camera bag. Using only sign language now, I explained to them that this camera was very dear to me, that the lens was a present from family and friends for my sixtieth birthday, that the memory card contained over six hundred pictures, of which only about tweny taken on their premises, and that those premises were about to be demolished anyway so why all the fuss.
After all this explaining and their peering into my passport and mumbling 'holenderski'*), they more or less lost interest and decided to let me go.
Oh no, just one more thing sir, why that index finger you pointed upwards so rudely? That means 'one', I sign-languaged.
What great relief on their innocent but serious faces: 'one' in Polish is not index finger up but thumb up.
After promising I'd never make that mistake again, we shook hands warmly, and I was escorted to the heavily padlocked front gate, which was opened especially for me.
Here is that fantastic railway freight carrier upside-down turner:
Update: It is called a Wagon tippler
Play the movie below to see how such a Wagon tippler works.
*) Correct spelling thanks to Andreas | 虾猊食
Late edit (October 2009)
I found a very elaborate movie about the entire process of unloading coal wagons in Philadelphia on YouTube.