Wroclaw worries


by ‘Zgredek’

Train shed, will all be ready one month from now? Photo BTWT.

At Wroclaw Glowny workmen are racing to finish the major renovation of the station before the Euro 2012 football championships, a race they seem certain to fail. The first match in Wroclaw kicks off on 8 June, Russia vs Czech Republic, but work is still ongoing on the platforms, lifts, subways, station buildings and approach tracks. In the meantime the passenger experience at the main station in Poland’s 4th largest city is absolutely terrible.

Only one subway is in use, at the extreme western end of the station. The subway is half its proper width, with the other half boarded off with work going on behind. Work is also going on above passengers’ heads in the stairwells, with suspended metal roofs which might protect them against any falling objects, though I wasn’t personally 100% confident of that and hurried past those points. On the floor there are steep boarded ramps at intervals along the subway. The subway is full of dust. The platforms can only be reached by steps as none of the lifts have been commissioned yet.

There are two information screens. One is in a small and extremely dusty and dirty half-finished ticket booking hall at the end of the subway. A huge crowd gathers here both inside and outside the building, because platforms are announced at such last minute that anyone not here risks missing their train. Meanwhile workmen with wheelbarrows are coming in and out of the same entrance. Some people even feel the need to wait in the subway itself, relying on the loudspeaker announcements to hear the platform for their train. The second, older, information screen is outside the same booking hall, but unfortunately a stall selling sunglasses obscures part of the screen.

The Subway. Photo BTWT.

The temporary station building, Dworzec Tymczasowy, is some distance away along the road. A further information screen is located here. It would be the most pleasant place to wait as it is the only place free of the dust that fills the unfinished ticket hall, the subway and often the overall roof, but anyone waiting for their platform number to be announced here is at severe risk of missing their train, unless they run. Indeed while I was walking from the Dworzec Tymczasowy to the subway the platform for a delayed train was announced and three or four people ran past me at full tilt carrying their luggage.

Facilities inside the subway and the Dworzec Tymczasowy are limited to coffee machines, while snack stalls and a portacabin toilet can be found on the far side of the Dworzec Tymczasowy, a long way from the platforms. Half the shop units here are empty which seems to attest to how few people make it this far.

For arriving passengers, signs in the subway point to Wyjscie do Miasta (Exit to Town), but unfortunately the temporary subway entrance and station building are on the opposite side of the station from the city centre, and there is no sign, or at least nothing remotely obvious, to point out this fact to arriving passengers. Anyone who does not have a very clear sense of the geography of the area is likely, as I did, to walk in exactly the opposite direction to the one they intend!


One Response to “Wroclaw worries”

  1. White Horse Pilgrim Says:

    How nice to know that EU taxpayers are receiving value for money. What a shame that the Austro-Hungarian Empire came to an end. It was the last chance for efficiency amongst the Central Europeans.

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