Sunday, 10 July 2016

Warsaw-Radom railway line modernisation, Czachówek

Today I went to have a look at how work on the Warsaw-Radom railway line is progressing at Czachówek, an important junction, a village with three (formerly four) stations. Although there was no sign of any work going on today, a Sunday, it was clear that much is happening here.

By Czachówek Południowy station stood a ballast train, hauled by a Pol-Miedź Trans 6Dg diesel shunter (a Newag-refurbished SM42), below.

Right at the southern end of the platform stood another train, this one carrying long lengths of rail, with a TEM-2 shunter in CTL Logistics livery, below. Overhead, a pair of PZL W-3 Sokół helicopters fly across the tracks, as a southbound Koleje Mazowieckie services sets off towards Radom. A little earlier, I'd seen a pair of Mil Mi-8 helicopters flying in the same direction - likely to have been a redeployment following the end of the NATO summit.

At Czachówek Południowy station, the 'up' line has been lifted in anticipation of new track. The platform itself has been dug up - it looks like a pedestrian tunnel is being built under the trackbed at this point. Useful for access.

Below: looking north from Czachówek Południowy towards Czachówek Górny station. The 'up' line trackbed stands naked awaiting modernisation. To the right, the 'down' line is now the only way in and out. Beyond the signal box, one spur runs off the the right, another to the left, to join the Skierniewice to Łuków line that crosses the Warsaw-Radom line at right angles just north of Czachówek Górny station.

Below: looking west from the bridge that carries the Warsaw-Radom line over the Skierniewice-Łuków line. Orange-jacketed workers are working on the northern end of the spur that leads off from the right above the signal box in the photo above. Czachówek has four signal boxes; another can be seen below.

Below: looking up the line towards Ustanówek station. Only one track, all the way up the hill. A third signal box controls the points for the spurs connecting the Skierniewice-Łuków line.

Below: Czachówek Górny has a new 'down' platform, which currently functions for both Warsaw and Radom-bound services. In time, a second platform, parallel to this one, will replace the old island platform. It will be more accessible, with a ramp, from both sides of the track. The old platform was accessible only by steep steps from the east side of the station. Passengers wanting to access the station from the west side would have to cross the tracks and haul themselves up onto the platform.

Looking towards Czachówek from a level crossing (one of many) west of the station. Below: the digger is working on upgrading the next level crossing along, in the meanwhile, a freight train heads west towards Skierniewice.

Below: bonus shot - this freight train of containers has come all the way from Chongqing Logistics City in China to Łódź. And maybe to Duisburg beyond. For the Polish stretch of the journey, the train is hauled by a PKP Cargo ET22.

It will still be at least a year to 18 months before work on the railway line down to Czachówek is complete. In the meantime, chaos continues. Last Thursday, trains on the line were delayed by over three and half hours (219 minutes in one case). Reason - an unexploded bomb was found somewhere between Warsaw and Czachówek.

This time six years ago:
Ćwilin, conquered

This time seven years ago:
Sunset across the tracks, Nowa Iwiczna

This time eight years ago:
The storm the forecasters missed

This time nine years ago:
Peacocks in the Park

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