Saturday, 21 May 2016

Mszczonów - another railway junction

I have written plenty about the Skierniewice to Łuków railway line, which crosses the Warsaw-Radom line at Czachówek and the Piaseczno narrow-gauge line near Tarczyn. Today I travelled further west, to Mszczonów, where the line crosses the CMK - Centralna Magistrala Kolejowa, or Central Trunk Railway.

As a reminder - the Skierniewice to Łukówe line was built in the early 1950s. Its primarily purpose was military - getting Soviet tanks west, bypassing Warsaw, seen by Kremlin planners as a nest of pro-Western spies and saboteurs. At a time when Stalin was goading the west into war in Korea, building this 100-mile strategic military rail connection of was of utmost importance. No other piece of railway infrastructure investment in Poland, other than the electrification of the Warsaw-Katowice line, was given greater priority during Poland's first Six-Year Plan.

Below: Mszczonów station. Like Tarczyn, it no longer serves passengers. Nevertheless, the place seemed quite busy. The S-Ł line is getting an upgrade, as part of a trans-European transport corridor.

Below: looking north-east, some wagony socjalne, suggesting that there's work going on somewhere down the line. On the horizon, a water tower, built like the station in the mid-1950s.

Below: the line is quite busy with freight trains running east-west and, like this one, from west to east. More cargo is taking to the tracks, thanks to EU funding.

Below: looking north along the CMK, with a single connecting track branching off to the right to join the Skierniewice-Łuków line. Unlike Czachówek, where there's a full diamond offering all directions, there's just one spur, connecting south to west.

Below: the junction is to the left of this Google Earth map, the spur is visible. Msczonów station is to the right. CMK runs north-south, Skierniewice-Łuków line runs east-west. Click to enlarge.

Below: a westbound train passes the abandoned passenger platform at Grzegorzowice station, which closed to traffic in 2002.

This time four years ago:
The Devil is in Doubt - short story, part I

This time five years ago:
Stormclouds are raging all around my door

This time six years ago:
Floods endanger Warsaw

This time seven years ago:
Coal line rarity

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