Friday, 12 June 2009

Jeziorki to Jeziorki via big local rail loop

As I mentioned earlier, once a day a Koleje Mazowieckie train passes through W-wa Jeziorki on its way to Pilawa, via Czachówek and Góra Kalwaria. Eddie and I decided to go for a Dad'n'Lad rail excursion and do a full loop, returning to Jeziorki from Warsaw, to which we'd get to the other way from Pilawa. Above: 18:20 - our train arrives. The heavens are about to open.

As we reach the junction at Czachówek , it starts bucketing it down. The deluge means we had to quickly shut the windows to avoid soaking the train's upholstery. Above: behind the trees is the east-west rail line that our train will merge onto.

Beyond Góra Kalwaria. For the first time, we cross the Vistula on a scheduled rail service on the Skierniewice-Łuków line. Above: Eddie's shot of the rainbow (it came out better than mine!) Circular polarising filters really help with rainbows. In the distance, the Góra Kalwaria road bridge is visible.

The landscape on the other side of the river is as flat as it is in our part of Mazowsze; the rainbow accompanies us much of the way to Pilawa. We stop at three stations between Góra Kalwaria and Pilawa: Warszówka, Osieck and Jaźwiny; there are no platforms here, just a white-painted kerb at ground level. At each station, just one or two people descend. Remember, this is a new service, so locals still need to get used to its existence. Currently, only two trains a day stop at these stations; from Pilawa to Warsaw (between 4:40 and 5:00) and from Warsaw to Pilawa (between 19:30 and 20:00).

Above: approaching Pilawa from the west, through the forest that runs through Augustowka, a favourite place of ours. There is a significant railway junction here, with five lines converging on Pilawa station; from Lublin to the south, Łuków to the east, Mińsk Mazowiecki to the north, the Otwock-Warsaw commuter line to the north-west and Skierniewice to the west. The forest is criss-crossed with rails, and an overgrown embankment after track-lifting. I refer to it in this oft-visited post.

At Pilawa, we buy tickets for the express train to W-wa Wschodnia, Warsaw's eastern terminal. Above: The 19:49 Przemyśl to Warsaw service is about to reach Pilawa. The 50km journey to Warsaw goes the long way round, not through Otwock and Józefów but skirting Mińsk Maz. Though there's more rail to cover, the train moves quickly and there's no intermediate stops. We are scheduled to arrive at W-wa Wschodnia in just 47 minutes. Here we will board a stopping service bound for Radom, that will drop us off at Jeziorki.

As the train turns west at Mińsk Maz, we catch some strong evening sunlight. The thunderclouds and rain have passed over, the air is clean and fresh, the quality of light beautiful.
Approaching W-wa Wschodnia. Above: A panorama of Warsaw's city centre, still dominated by Stalin's gift to the Polish people, appears ahead of us. Clicking on the photo, you will see on the Palace of Culture, five miles away, an image of Gary Cooper, 11 stories high. This is based on the iconic 'High Noon' poster used by Solidarity to encourage Poles to vote the communists out of power 20 years ago.

Above: We've changed trains (a hectic dash from Platform 1 to Platform 6 at Wschodnia) and are crossing the Vistula again. Looking south from the railway crossing towards the Poniatowski bridge, which carries road traffic and trams. Eddie remarks that there's something about rail travel that cannot be beaten going by road. We ponder for a while, but can't quite define that something that makes going for a train trip for its own sake so special.

Standing at W-wa Służewiec station, I take this shot of ul. Sasanki flyover (above) as it crosses ul. Żwirki i Wigury. This is the site of the future junction with the S79.

Home again, after three hours. I set up a long exposure shot on the tripod as our train heads south for Radom. Total cost of journey, Eddie paying half price, was just under 45zł, which relating to Scatts' post about value-for-money anorakism, works out at around three quid an hour for real quality time. Below: Map of our journey (click on it for detail).

Planning this journey was made much easier thanks to PKP's timetable site, found here.


Neighbour said...


I'm always surprised how can you find such interesting photo topics where I don't see them. I take photos for more than 30 years now and each time, after reading your new post with pics like those above, I wonder what's wrong with me ;-)

Chapeau bas!

Michael Dembinski said...

My photography has come on since launching the blog and having 100 or so people a day popping by to have a look. My secret is to shot lots, edit hard and use Photoshop to bring out the best in a picture.

Thanks for the kind comment!