Might have been…


Zillertalbahn. Video by 1935Gerhard. Hat tip to Railway Misadventures.

I sometimes wonder what Poland would have been like if  WWII had left Poland on the western side of the Iron Curtain and fifty years under Soviet hegemony had not exhausted its economy. Imagine Poland’s narrow gauge railways continuing to play a role in rural transportation just like the Zillertalbahn.

Impossible in contemporary Poland? Well given the we-must-catch-up-with-the-West-at-all-costs mindset quite possibly. But the Smigiel Railway carried up to 90 schoolchildren as recently as five years ago until a council subsidized bus service started running on the same route. Even the Krosniewice Railway passenger service had its busy peaks on market days and during the All Saints holiday.

By the way Gerhard Germann’s video is absolutely suburb. Both the camera work and sound quality are at a level of professionalism rarely found on videos posted on You Tube.

3 Responses to “Might have been…”

  1. Serow Says:

    Like Zillertalbahn or like in the rest of western europe disapeared in the 60′ and the 70′.

    SNCV interurban network collapse under the attack of the individual cars pushed by the american way of live of those years.

    Eastern europe is now divided into two block. One (with poland) making nearly the same mistake as we did, with the notable exception of some city tramway like in Krakow or Warszawa. And on the other side, country like Česká republika with good transportation system and good projects for the future.

  2. White Horse Pilgrim Says:

    Perhaps if WW1 hadn’t happened and Austro-Hungary had been updated(as per the pre-WW1 ‘Federal Austria’ proposals) then much of Central and Eastern Europe would have become modern states. Much damage was done by inter-war Balkanisation which promoted little but corruption and xenophobia. WW2 and the Soviet Bloc simply followed the mistakes of 1914-18. Besides a ‘free’ Poland would most likely have shut its narrow gauge railways half a century ago.

  3. Steve Says:

    Personally, I wonder how many lines would have been closed under a democratic, capitalist regime: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beeching_Axe.

    I’m not a great train fan, but you may like to see http://englishwarsaw.blogspot.com/2011/02/trains.html

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