Archive for March 31st, 2010

No cheap trains Poznan – Berlin

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Poznan Glowny Station, July 2007. Photo Radomil, Wikimedia Commons.

(Click image to see original and for details of licensing.)

You would have thought that no one could possibly object to a new low-cost rail service between Poznan and Berlin. Similar services already operate between Szczecin and Berlin and have proved very popular. Residents of Wielkopolska province could choose rail over car or bus for their forays into Berlin and lots more Berliners would come to spend their euros in Poznan.

The idea won favour with the Wielkopolska provincial government and the Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg (Berlin and Brandenburg Public Transport Association). Both parties were willing to subsidize the cost of the service and the fare was likely to work out at some 15 – 20 euro as opposed to the 39 euro currently charged by PKP InterCity. So when, Wojciech Jankowiak, the Deputy Governor, wrote to Radek Sikorski, Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, to get the Minister’s view he expected no more than a short note, “Good idea, will strengthen German – Polish relations. I support this.”

In hindsight, it was not such a good idea to get Warsaw involved. Radek Sikorski sent the Governor’s letter round to the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Office of Railway Transport to obtain their views. Janusz Englehardt, the Undersecreary of State responsible for rail was quick to respond. It would be illegal for a local authority to subsidize an international train, he opined. So it seems that the residents of Wielkopolska are not going to get their cheap trains to Berlin just yet.

The Stations of East Galicia

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

VIP Preview at the Warsaw Railway Museum 27 March 2010.
From a photograph by Michael Dembinski

Pioneering Warsaw blogger Michael Dembinski, managed to wrangle himself an invitation to the VIP preview of the Dworce Kolejowe Galicji Wschodnej (The railway stations of East Galicia) exhibition at the Warsaw Railway Museum. Click the image above to read his full report on the W-wa Jeziorki blog.

The exhibition features the photography of Marta Czerwieniec who, as well as being interested in railway infrastructure, is an expert on geneaology. While tracking her own family history she discovered that her great grandfather, Karol Stronczynski, was a railway engineer. He was a graduate of the Technical Academy in St Petersburg and later went on to design bridges and viaducts on railway lines on Poland’s eastern borders and in Russia.

It is greatly encouraging to see that Ferdynand Ruszczyc, the Museum Director, is actually running an event with a railway theme as opposed to holding more fashion shows and beauty competitions!