A forgotten pearl

by

Sosnowiec Maczki Station. Photo ChemiQ.

(Click on the image above to see the original on www.forum-sosnowiec.pl and other pictures of the Sosnowiec area by ChemiQ.)

Travel by train from Czestochowa to Krakow and some half hour before your destination you find yourself travelling through a railway landscape that looks like the original track diagram for the Isle of Sodor. Junctions follow each other and branch lines swirl round in huge loops without rhyme or region. Tracks criss-cross each other in quick succession. One track has had train loads of sand tamped under it to prevent it falling down a mine. A massive flyover built a couple of decades ago is already disused. The coup de grâce is Sosnowiec Maczki station, built in an imperial style and on an imperial scale, the station has had its exterior carefully restored and all its windows and doors blocked up!

The station is the most important original surviving building in Poland from the Warsaw – Vienna Railway. Construction started in 1839 and lasted 9 years. The station was on the border between the Russian Empire and Austrio-Hungarian Empire and had special rooms for the use of the Tsar and his retinue. After Poland recovered its independence in 1918 the border was moved south and the station lost much of its importance. Nevertheless Sosnowiec developed into an important mining and industrial town and the station continued to serve the transport needs of the local population until relatively recently. Unfortunately, while some 1/4 million people live in the Sosnowiec area, today the station is only served by three train a day in each direction.

Satellite view of Sosnowiec Maczki Station and surrounding railways.
Photo Google Maps.

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