Monday, 25 June 2012

Zachodnia and Stadion

Time to get out and revel in the fact that what was once Poland's Worst Railway Station has, in a remarkably short space of time, become civilised at last. There's nothing like tight deadlines to focus a management's mind. Racing to complete Dworzec Zachodni on time, I'm sure some short cuts were taken, but by and large the difference for passengers travelling from (or more likely, changing trains at) this station is immense. New platform shelters will be appreciated, but above all it's proper, electronic signage. On each platform - and most importantly (below) in the underground passageway connecting the platforms.

On each platform you can see the destination of the next train. This had been Zachodnia's greatest single mankament - lack of any information at platform level pertaining to train arrivals. Having been through commuter hell at this station, with people rushing from one platform to another, not knowing from which their train would depart, or at what time, this is a mighty step forward, and I salute it.

Below: The booking hall on the other side of the tracks to the main entrance has been spruced up. Though tiny by comparison to Centralna or Wschodnia booking halls, it has been renovated thoroughly to the same standard.

A further PKP improvement is to be found on the online timetables ( If you're looking for times of trains arriving imminently, you'll see whether or not they're forecast to be running to time. Click to enlarge. You'll see the green ticks by the next two train times, showing that these two services are not currently experiencing delays. This system is still being tested, but will be of huge benefit to travellers.

Did I hear right? The native-English station announcer at W-wa Rakowiec saying that the train for W-wa Lotnisko Chopina airport is due to leave at sixteen colon oh one? [siedemnasta dwukropek zero jeden]?

Below: first post-remont visit to W-wa Stadion station. Three years ago a dump that all right-minded people would avoid, today a place that generates pride among Warsaw's citizens.

From outside the station there are well laid-out paths to the stadium and to Al. Zieleniecka from which trams and buses can take you into Praga beyond. So much has changed, so quickly, to the surprise and delight of Varsovians, most of whom doubted that it will be done on time.

This time last year:
What's the English for Tężnia?

This time two years ago:
Literature and biology

This time three years ago:
Kraków Air Museum

This time four years ago:
Crumbling neo-classicism in Grabów

This time five years ago:
Little boxes, Mysiadło

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