W-wa Centralna Departures Board



New Warszawa Centralna departures board. PKP archive


Liverpool Street Solaris departures board. Photo JohnSeb

It is an old joke in the BTWT office that – if PKP Directors were stopped from travelling around Poland by plane and chauffeured car, and were forced to look up their train times, buy their own tickets and travel by scheduled train services like the rest of us – the standard of Poland’s rail services would leapfrog in a month and be totally unrecognisable in a year. In the meantime, passengers suffer appallingly bad service and are confronted with expensive new ‘improvements’ which are inferior to the facilities that they replace.

The new Warszawa Centralna departures board only has space to show the departure of the next nine trains. During the rush hour, the view ahead is only 30 minutes, more or less. Not much use if it is, say, 08:40 in the morning and you are wondering whether or not there is time to dash over to The Radio Cafe for a quick breakfast before catching the pospieszny train to Katowice. In fact, not much good for getting to Katowice at all, as the fact that the 08:50 to Bielsko Biala actually stops at Katowice (the Polish equivalent of Birmingham) is judged not important enough to be displayed on the panel. Nor are any of the 13 other stations at which the 08:50 stops en route.

How about Torun? Again no trains are displayed, but the 09:00 to Bydgoszcz will take you there without any trouble. Perhaps, we are picking the wrong stations? Maybe the designers of this futuristic-state-of-the-art display did not want to refer to places tainted by Poland’s communist past? How about Gdansk? The heroic defence by postal workers of the Polish Post Office there, and the birth of Solidarity are events indelibly etched into the pages of Polish history. But, oh no, Gdansk doesn’t get a mention either.

We ARE told that the 09:00 Lajkonik (hands up all those readers who said to themselves, ‘that’s the 06:00 ex Krakow Glowny’) stops at Warszawa Zachodnia, Ilawa and Malbork, but again the display cannot cope with the additional information that this train stops at the three principal stations in Gdansk and also could drop us off at Sopot for good measure. How did this functionality and design calamity come about? A little judicous Googling came up with the answer! Tommorrow we will summarise what’s been happening on PKP during the month of January. Have a good weekend!


Eurostar departures board at St Pancras. Photo itravelnet.com




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4 Responses to “W-wa Centralna Departures Board”

  1. Macowiec Says:

    Even the DB, though, can get up to these tricks. Last month, waiting in Berlin-Lichtenberg for the night train to Poland, the board in the main hall displayed “Warszawa”. Never mind that this train carries through wagons to Gdansk, Kaliningrad, and Krakow!

  2. Rik degruyter Says:

    In Belgium (of all places) the only TOC is SNCB. In Januari 2009 the management discovered that there was something like a passenger waiting on a platform… . They started a training campaign for the information staff to improve announcements and by the way an internet application called “Rail Time” will give you in real time on the spot information where your train is hiding ! Modern times ? “Attention platform 14 : keep your laptops ready….”

  3. dyspozytor Says:

    Hi Rik, Good to hear from you again. We should have a chat about Czempin – Srem. Best wishes.

  4. richardlith Says:

    Greetings from Poland’s smaller brother, Lithuania. The same problems happen here. Departure boards only show the destination of trains. The intermediate stops must be a commercial secret. And don’t even try to enquire about making a connection to a second train, or buying a through or return ticket.

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