Warszawa Centralna station

Warsaw Central (Polish: Warszawa Centralna) is the most important railway station in Warsaw, Poland. Its construction began in 1972 and was completed in 1975. The station, located on the Warsaw Cross-City Line, has four underground island platforms (eight tracks in total) and is served by long-distance domestic and international trains of PKP Intercity and Przewozy Regionalne as well as some of the regional trains operated by Koleje Mazowieckie

History

The station was constructed as a flagship project of the Polish People's Republic during the economic boom fueled in the 1970s by Western loans. It was to replace the inadequate Warsaw Główna. The station encountered substantial problems from the very beginning, however, and soon became a white elephant.

The station's design was innovative but was altered many times during construction, adversely affecting the quality of the construction work and the station's functionality. Also, for propaganda reasons, it was decided to complete the station hastily so that it would be ready for Leonid Brezhnev's 1975 visit to Warsaw. This haste further degraded the quality of the construction, necessitating immediate repairs, which continued through the 1980s. Nevertheless the structure was advanced for its time and incorporated such things as automatic doors and escalators.

Since the mid-1980s, Warsaw Centralna has been in decline. The Warsaw city government is contemplating demolishing the station and replacing it with a new one, either at the same location or farther from the city center. Tentative plans are to demolish the present station in 2014 and replace it in the same location by 2018. Before then, in 2010-2011 the station will receive a cosmetic upgrade in time for the Euro 2012 championships.

Location

Warsaw Centralna is flanked to either side by other rail stations. To the west is Warszawa Śródmieście WKD, the terminus of the WKD suburban light rail line. To the east is Warszawa Śródmieście PKP, served by suburban trains run by Koleje Mazowieckie and Szybka Kolej Miejska.

Trivia

The station was one of only a handful of public buildings in Warsaw which suffered a technical fault as a result of the millennium bug. The indicator board shut down for approximately 24 hours on 1 January 2000 while its timing chip was replaced. In the meantime, all departures were announced over the public-address system.