Sunday, 9 September 2018

Ul. Zatorze gets civilised

Once this was one of Warsaw's strangest roads. Two kilometres long, the southern half of which has been a long dirt track, the other half a normal, asphalted road. It's been shown on the city's map as a proper road from end to end, with a name, ul. Zatorze, since the 1962 edition. Now, the 1km stretch from ul. Karnawał up to where the Metro's link line cuts across it, is being hardened and given a proper surface.

My walk starts at home, I walk to W-wa Dawidy, then parallel to the tracks along ul. Hołubcowa, thence along a footpath to cross the S2 expressway, and then on to the southern end of ul. Zatorze. As I do so, I'm overtaken by a coal train returning empty to the Okęcie sidings, hauled by a DB Cargo Class 66 loco.

Below: this is where ul. Zatorze starts. In the distance, the viaduct taking ul. Hołubcowa over the S2; nearer is visible the ungated level crossing (rarely) used by trains heading to or from the Metro depot at Kabaty. View looking east.

Below: the road has been hardened and awaits the next layer. The solid foundations suggest that this road is intended for heavy goods vehicles. Next views all looking north...

Below: to the right (that is, east of the main railway line), is an abandoned cluster of działki with small gardens and summerhouses, although these are now slept in by homeless people and guarded by their dogs.

Below: after a while, the road widens. The surface to the left is concrete rather than crushed roadstone, suggesting a stand for heavy goods vehicles.

Below: a platform, visible from trains passing between W-wa Dawidy and W-wa Okęcie; but what's it for - to my eye a transhipment point for containers. I may be wrong (can't find this using Google...). The main electrified tracks are over to the left, there are three non-electrified tracks between them and this new platform.

Below: view looking north from the end of a loop, with the platform to the right and ul. Zatorze to the left. I wonder whether the road will be open to all traffic...

Below: looking north again; in the distance the viaduct that takes ul. Poleczki over the railway line and S79 expressway, Okęcie airport over to the left.

Below: approaching the end of the southern stretch of ul. Zatorze. Just around the corner the road crosses the Metro rail link, and beyond that the road becomes normal, running north for a further kilometre to join ul. Kłobucka.

To see how ul. Zatorze (literally 'Behind-the-Tracks Street') looked like two years ago, click here to follow a similar walk I did on 4 September 2016.

Below: a bizarre location for the new Ferrari Warszawa showroom - ul. Wirażowa. Why here? Surely not so that prospective buyers can test-drive sports cars, putting them through their paces along a quiet, straight stretch of road popular with cyclists, joggers, plane-spotters and mushroom-pickers?

I finish my walk at W-wa Okęcie. There is still no signage anywhere along ul. Kłobucka (now home to dozens of new blocks of flats where the old builders merchants' expo used to be) directing pedestrians to the station. W-wa Okęcie literally may not exist, despite it being a mere 5min walk from Kłobucka. Below: the view the end of the platform at W-wa Okęcie towards W-wa Służewiec, where a southbound train is just arriving.

This time six years ago:
S2/S7 junction, Hołubcowa viaduct, under construction

This time seven years ago:
To Stara Praga, and back

This time eight years ago:
Late summer scenes, Warsaw

This time 11 years ago:
Roadworks and detours on ul. Puławska in Mysiadło

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