Thursday, 30 November 2017

Viaduct takes shape in the snow, W-wa Jeziorki

November 2017 is approaching an end. And how's the viaduct that one day will take ul. Karczunkowska over the railway line at W-wa Jeziorki coming on? Snow's falling hard and fast, warm enough to stick to vertical surfaces. Between the electrified lines and the non-electrified coal train line, an excavator digs out the soil between the retaining walls. Here will one day appear the central pillar supporting the new bridge.

Below: down in the pit, the work goes on. Note the people walking down the coal train tracks; there's no direct route from the west side of the line to the 'up' platform; you can choose to walk a muddy 200m detour or walk the line.

Left: I arrive at W-wa Jeziorki, delighted that the temperature here is one degree lower than in the centre of Warsaw, and that the snow here is settling on the ground. I'm greeted by a little snow station-master, who causes some amusement to the train's conductor.
Below: now the trains have passed, I check how the foundations look in the dark.

Bonus shot from yesterday; the snow was falling but not settling, as a Freightliner PL Newag Dragon locomotive passes through W-wa Jeziorki with a rake of full coal wagons. The Freightliner Dragons are dual-power electric locos with auxiliary diesel power, allowing them to work in non-electrified shunting yards.

This time three years ago:
No in-work benefits for four years?

This time four years ago:

This time five years ago:
Another November without snow

This time six years ago:
Snow-free November

This time seven years ago:
Krakowskie Przedmieście in the snow

This time eight years ago:
Ul. Poloneza closed for the building of the S2


Ian Wilcock said...

So how is our wager looking?

Michael Dembinski said...

Assuming they push right through the winter months, I'd guess (again going on the pace of progress on the Poloneza viaduct) that by April it will be possible to walk over a structure that spans the tracks.

Lets' look at chronology of Poloneza viaduct...

Nov 2009: road closed to all traffic incl. pedestrians
Feb 2010: pile driving completed, similar state to Karczunkowska today.
Jan 2011: viaduct structurally ready
Apr 2011: I cycle across it for first time, no asphalt on it
Nov 2011: frustrated locals remove barriers stopping cars from using it; still no asphalt
Sep 2012: Asphalt laid, builders erect earth ramparts and concrete blocks to stop local drivers from using it
Nov 2012: Road officially open
Aug 2012: Asphalt laid between southern end of viaduct and ul. Ludwinowska.

On this basis, Karczunkowska would be legally open to cars by August 2020.

Having said that, with a bit of sprint and pressure from local communities, August 2019. December 2018? NO. CHANCE. :-)

Ian Wilcock said...

It is going to be fun tracking the progress of this one!

White Horse Pilgrim said...

You've pictured some interesting health and safety practices! Not just pedestrians on the track, but an excavator that could presumably swing foul of a running line. (It's happened in the UK and Germany recently.) And workers on the track adjoining a raised platform when the signal aspect looks like amber. (No quick way to a place of safety - a British track worker was badly injured in just such a situation earlier in the year.)

Ian Wilcock said...

Hi, update from Nowa Iwiczna. the new barriers have been installed and started working this week. End result is long traffic queues as the barriers shut about 5 minutes before a train arrives, where before there were none. Not sure this is progress!

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Ian Wilcock

It often puzzles me why the level crossing keepers lower the barriers when they do. Sometimes it's way too early, sometimes it's about right. Never too late, though. Worth learning the new train times by heart so as to avoid the barriers shutting! (of course the coal train times are not published, and it's difficult to know when the Kraków-bound trains pass).

Michael Dembinski said...


Yes - H&S leaves a lot to be desired here. The passengers on the track are my least concern as the coal trains run twice a day laden, twice a day empty, sound their horns a lot and move slowly. Walking the electrified lines is far more risky. There was a man with a flag out of shot on the photo with the workers by the platform.

Ian Wilcock said...

Guess we will have to get used to it. One day you will have a bridge :-)