Thursday, 11 March 2010

Commuters' staging post

Unless my Jeziorki-bound train is the first one in at W-wa Powiśle station (it rarely is), in winter I'll hop onto whatever comes first and hop off one stop further along, at W-wa Śródmieście to wait there. Compared to some of the more rubbish stations I could choose to wait at, this one is a dream. And I guess commuters heading east would also wait here rather than freeze on the open platforms of W-wa Ochota or W-wa Zachodnia (my nomination for Poland's worst railway station).

W-wa Śródmieście has four advantages for me: a) I can escape the frosty night and wait in the relative warmth warmth and shelter for my train, b) buy hot food and drink, c) buy slightly out-of-date magazines for a fraction of their cover price (last month's Practical Photography for 10 złotys, rather than 30.90 zł), and d) see actual indicator boards telling me when my train is due (and how late). W-wa Powiśle has no indicator boards.

Unlike the dreadful W-wa Zachodnia with its plethora of platforms, W-wa Śródmieście has only two, so there's no worrying about at which one of the 24 tracks my home-bound train will arrive. Crossing from platform to platform is either done via seedy underground passages or by nipping through a train and out onto the island platform, as this is a rare (only?) station where the train doors open on both sides. And of late, W-wa Śródmieście is properly cleaned and patrolled by security guards, so there's no smell of stale urine or fast food cartons littering the place.

The photo above was taken with camera resting on a bin, three-and-half second exposure at f22 for depth of field. The station looks quiet, but actually there's a crowd of people moving down the island platform, the long exposure rendering them as indistict ghosts (click on photo to enlarge).

1 comment:

Paulina Wawrzyńczyk said...

You have to be careful because not only this station is called W-wa Śródmieście! I waited here for WKD and of course nothing came! WKD also stops at W-wa Śródmieście but on the worst platform on the other side of Dworzec Centralny.

I agree - W-wa Zachodnia looks terrible!