Posts Tagged ‘PKP SA’

Railway Museum dispute continues

Monday, 21 June 2010

A development vision prepared for the Railway Museum in Warsaw. Sketches Chief Executive’s Office Government of Mazowse Province.

The dispute between PKP SA and the Railway Museum in Warsaw continues. A short-term deal has been agreed allowing the museum to remain on its current site adjacent to ul. Towarowa for another three years. The museum has lost its rent free status and is obliged to pay rent for its occupancy of the site – though not at the level originally demanded by the landowners, PKP SA.

The dispute concerns the long-term location of the museum. PKP SA want the entire former Warszawa Glowna station site cleared for development and have suggested a number of alternate locations both within and outwith Warsaw’s city limits. The museum’s management team want to remain on the existing site.

In order to convince PKP SA’s estate department that the development of the land and the development of the museum could go hand in hand on the existing site the Museum authorities have commissioned a design team to prepare some visualisations of what such a hybrid development could look like. But the railway company’s estate team are far from convinced and a spokesman pointed out that the PKP SA is sticking to its demand that the museum vacates the Warsawa Glowna site by 2013.

It seems that PKP SA’s estates chief Pawel Olczyk and Railway Museum director, Ferdynand Ruszczyc, are playing a game of musical chairs with both bosses counting on the fact that nether will be in post when the 2013 deadline expires. A deal to secure the long-term future of Poland’s de facto national railway museum will require courage and out-of-the-box thinking from all concerned. Until that happens the future of the museum and its priceless collection will remain in jeopardy.


Will Railway Museum close in September?

Saturday, 22 August 2009

salonka bieruta

One of the exhibits of the Railway Museum in Warsaw, the private coach of Boleslaw Bierut, president of Poland 1947-52 (following rigged elections), first secretary of the Communist Party 1948-56, who maintained a Stalinist reign of terror until his death in Moscow in 1956. The coach was built just before WW II for the French government, but never delivered. Photo © Jerzy Dabrowski, Oko na Swiat, photo agency.

A meeting took place on Friday 21 August between Ferdynand Ruszczyc, the Director of the  Railway Museum in Warsaw and representatives of PKP SA, Poland’s State Railway company.

Up to now PKP negotiators, who are trying to force the Museum to move out of  Warsawa Glowna station had been taking a hard line negotiating stance. They had demanded that the Museum quits its premises by the end of August, and had threatened to cut off the museum’s hot water supply and to demolish some of the museum’s buildings. Stung by the resulting hostile press coverage, PKP’s negotiators are now adopting a more conciliatory approach.

They suggested that the Museum and PKP sign a commercial lease which would enable the Museum to stay on its existing site until the Museum’s new location was ready. The agreement would run from 1 September for a maximum term of 2 years. PKP are claiming that the Museum’s occupancy of the station site has costed them 4 million zloty (£850,000) to date and is costing them 26,000 zloty (£5,500) each month.

PKP wants the Museum to relocate to a plot in the Praga district of Warsaw, not far from Warszawa Wilenska station. The plan would be for PKP to hand the land over to the City Council in settlement of unpaid local taxes. City authorities are reported to be resisting the proposal. Ferdynand Ruszczyc estimates that relocating the collection and building a new museum could cost between 50  and 70 million zloty (£10.6 – £14,8 million). Neither he, nor the provincial government, has such funds at their disposal.

PKP has terminated the Museum’s licence to occupy Warsawa Glowna station effective 31st August. What will happen to the Museum after that? At the moment the battle is being fought in the pages of the Warsaw press and in smoke-filled rooms in government offices. Watch this space!