Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Warsaw-Radom line modernisation work finally starts

Approaching W-wa Okęcie station this morning, the train swings left away from the old main line. I look out of the window and see extensive work going on. Below: the track alignment is changing - dramatically. And on the far horizon, Warsaw Spire nears completion.

Approaching the station, I can see the old tracks are being lifted...

...and the island platform is being demolished, along with the modest station building, which dates back to 1934, when the Warsaw-Radom line was begun.

Below: demolition of the old platform is under way. Island platforms - which mean one line has to swing around to accommodate them - slow down average speeds and thus increase travel time. The stations between W-wa Zachodnia and W-wa Służewiec have platforms on either side of the tracks. Now the island platforms between W-wa Okęcie and Czachówek are due for demolition so as to straighten out the track bed and improve running time

On my way home this evening, the train swings right towards the new platform, which is on the site of the former disused freight siding platform serving an sand and gravel depot, where the S79 expressway now runs.

Below: passengers on the train were confused, because - as the driver does not communicate the change - the doors open on the other side to how they used to.

It's over 4km from W-wa Okęcie to the next station south, W-wa Dawidy. Despite the dire need for more rail communication with the southern end of 'Mordor na Służewcu' - the vast office parks south of central Warsaw - especially around ul. Poleczki - there are no current plans for a W-wa Wyczółki (or W-wa Poleczki) station. Right now, the pressing priority is to modernise the line as far as Piaseczno, then onto Czachówek, so as to improve the communication with Warsaw's southern suburbs and exurbs. New stations are also needed to give access to the dormitory districts of Mysiadło and Stara Iwiczna.

So far so good - the works, which include single-track working between W-wa Służewiec and W-wa Dawidy - have not resulted in major delays.

At the other end of the Warsaw-Radom line, Radom station has been closed and an alternative bus service laid on between Lesiów station and Radom itself. And the Radomiak, the pospieszny or 'fast' service from Warsaw to Radom, which doesn't stop at the smaller stations along the line, now takes a different route - along the Centralna Magistrala Kolejowa towards Idzikowice. The Radomiak, being a push-pull train with the engine at one end and the ability to be driven from the other end too, crosses the junction north of Idzikowice, changes direction, and heads east down the line to Radom. And guess what - this convoluted journey actually takes less time than the scheduled Radomiak - not only because of the stops at Piaseczno and Warka - but because the trackbed is in such poor state that the brand new rolling stock is severely restricted in how fast it's allowed to go.

This time last year:
Won't be long 'til summertime is through

This time three years ago:
It was a good year for the apples

This time five years ago:
Early-September moan about the commuting


Ian Wilcock said...

Great news, next bridges t remove the levle crosings and times will be even quicker!

Ian Wilcock said...

level even.