Let’s save Poland’s old railway stations!

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A remarkable survivor, the unique railway station in Budwity.
Photo Krzysztof Worobiec.

(Click to see original picture and read a report of the ‘Uratujmy Stare Dworce’ – in Polish on Krzysztof Worobiec’s blog, Stowarzyszenie Sadyba.)

Although Poland’s railway heritage continues to decay at an alarming rate, a conference that took place in Olsztyn on 23 March this year was possibly a sign that the tide of public opinion may be beginning to turn. The upbeat conference slogan ‘Uratujmy Stare Dworce’ (Let’s save Poland’s old railway stations) reflected the campaign aims of its principal organiser, Elzbieta Mierzynska. Ms Mierzynska is a professional journalist and the daughter of a railwayman. Her campaign is focused on the Warmia and Mazury province which has 193 railway stations of which only 30 are in use.

The conference attracted a distinguished panel of speakers including: Marian Podziewski, Voivod (central government representative) of Warmia and Mazur; Zbigniew Maj, representing the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage; Paweł Olczyk, main border member PKP SA (responsible for Property); Adam Neumann, Director Gdansk Region (new PKP subsidiary) Dworce Kolejowe PKP; Michal Wrzosek, Spokesman, PKP SA; Jacek Przesluga, main board member PKP SA (in charge of railway station renewal); Barbara Zalewska, historic monuments registrar of Warmia and Mazur ; Janusz Piechocinski, vice chairman Parliamentary Infrastructure Committee; and Jacek Wysocki, of the Warmia and Mazury Structural Planning Department. Delegates heard two interesting case histories, the first by Jolanta Piotrowska, the mayor of Gizycko, on how her town council had managed to take over the local railway station; the second by Antoni Smolak, the Chief Executive of Maldyty Municipality, on the problems preventing his council from taking over the historic railway station at Budwity.

Let’s hope that the attendance of so many key decision makers at the conference will mean that some real progress will be made at last. We hope to interview Ms Mierzynska shortly.

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3 Responses to “Let’s save Poland’s old railway stations!”

  1. Luigi Says:

    I am very interested in the fate of Budwity station. It once belonged to the estate of Budwity (Bauditten), which was owned by my grandgrandfather General Johannes von Eben family. The station formerly was a small hunting lodge of Emperor William II in Masuria. He donated it to the people of Budwity (or the General?) and it was translocated to the place where it is today. It was used as local railway station for the peole and above all the goods (farm products as sugar beet, but also bricks etc) of the estate. We visited the place in 1999 when the rail tracks were still in service and in 2009 when the tracks were alreday removed. The station was used as a holiday cottage by a female polish German teacher. The building was in bad condition due to vandalism of local youth, so the teacher told us.
    Does anyone know what is going to happen with the station? Maybe we can get the contact data of the persons involved? It surely is worth of preservation and renovation!

  2. Luigi Says:

    The stations name was “Ebenhöh” (“Eben hill”). You get some information here: http://www.ciekawemazury.pl/opis/480,Gumniska+Ma%C5%82e+-+zabytkowy+drewniany+dworzec.htm

    I was wrong concrning the origin of the station. It was a kind of welcome hall at the station of Prökelwitz (Prawicach) for the Emperor, built on the occasion of a visit by William II. It was dismantled and rebuilt in Budwity after the fall of the Empire sometime between 1918 and 1920.

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