Friday, 10 February 2012

From the open door

The double-decker trains have all but disappeared from the Koleje Mazowieckie services to town. All the trains I take to work and back are the old EN57 stock, the oldest examples of which will be celebrating their 50th birthday this year. Some have been modernised and have push-button door opening. The older ones' doors are opened along the entire train by the guard, whether someone's using them or not. This is uncomfortable at -15C, especially seeing as many of the internal sliding doors are broken and stuck in the open position. At every station, a blast of cold air enters the compartment.

Above: W-wa Jeziorki station and its demolished shelter. A frosty morn; note absence of cars parked up along ul. Gogolińska. Either the cars wouldn't start, or their drivers preferred to face the jams in the warmth of their vehicles rather than brave the cold trains.

Above: W-wa Okęcie station, and behind it the long-to-be unfinished S79 at the junction for the airport. People who alight here tend to work at the airport rather than passengers, for despite the name, this station's one and half kilometres from the international terminal. The new station serving the airport will be ready... May? December? Who knows.

Left: W-wa Zachodnia station. A sky of girders and pylons, a God-awful place lacking signage, proper information or decent amenities. A great place however for newcomers to Poland to get the feel of post-communism; how that system wrecked any sense of pride in public service.

Still, on the credit side, Koleje Mazowieckie have been running very well this winter (so far) given the intensity of the frosts. With the exception of one journey home that took double the usual 50 minutes, trains have been running with only the slightest delays, although over-crowding is still a problem during the morning peak.

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