Election blues


How Poland voted map on left, PKP 1952 network on right.

(Brown indicates municipalities where a majority of voters voted for Bronislaw Komorowski, blue where the majority voted for Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Click maps to see original article on gazeta.pl)

I’m suffering from depression. The Poles have voted in a new president – Bronislaw Komorowski – who comes from a party that have an allergy to railways. The Germans beat Britain in round 16 of the World Cup. Now the Tories are considering selling Network Rail to DB. It’s enough to make a chap want to emigrate. Hold on, I have emigrated. Perhaps I should go further East? The Russians and the Chinese are investing heavily in their railways.

3 Responses to “Election blues”

  1. Gavin Whitelaw Says:

    Well, the last Polish government wasn’t exactly “Railway Friendly”. Didn’t the last President (?) sack a lot of top managers and put his cronies in place of them?

    Look at all the closures, investment in roads and the scandalous WASTE of the investment from Europe that should have been for rail improvement and modernisation.

    Poland has wasted BILLIONS of Zlotys since the 1980s when the World Bank made money available as long as diesels were bought. Diesel fuel then had to be paid for in hard currency making Poland worse off than if they had renovated their exisiting steam locos at the time (and there were lots of them then) using local materials and labour, then running them using indigenous fuel (coal – and they are still exporting that) leaving money for upgrading routes and then, once the country was in a better financial position investing in modern electric locomotives and further electrification.

    In the past 20 years I have seen Polish railways turn from what was a proud (if down at heel) system into an underfunded and amazingly poorly organised hotch potch of companies that have no real interest in actually running a decent service and instead allow the internal accounting to clog up a system with red tape. Oh, hang on, isn’t that what happened in Britain as well…….

    There are some managers in Polish Railways that are very good, honest and have the railways interests at heart but they are far outnumbered by the others that are lazy, far too interested in receiving brown envelopes and downright stupid.

  2. Michael Dembinski Says:

    The rail map of Poland is of course a reflection of the 19th C. partitions of Poland. The Prussians/Germans had a far more compact empire, so when it came to railway lines per square kilometres, they beat the Russians hands down.

    Maybe there’s another lesson here: railways = civilisation = civilised politics.

  3. John Ball Says:

    Over the past century, since the main construction of railways, have the Prussians/Germans always proved more civilised than the Russians? A matter for debate, methinks.

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