Become an A&B portal user and receive giveaways!
Become an A&B portal user and receive giveaways!

New plans for Poznan train station. There is to be a competition!

21 of December '23

All from scratch and this time with sense. There is finally a clear concept of what may become of Poznan's Central Station. It was prepared by city planners. The city announces public consultations and the announcement of a competition. There is a chance that the infamous "breadbox" will disappear. However, we will also say goodbye to the historic station building.

The concept for a major transformation of the Poznań Główny station was shown a week ago by the Municipal Urban Planning Laboratory. The planners prepared their study in consultation with railroaders, the Office of the City Historic Preservation Officer and other city entities. What they proposed: first, the station stays in the same place: on the south side of the Station Bridge. Second, there are plans for eight brand-new two-edge platforms (16 tracks). Third, a station building is to be erected above the platforms, in front of which a spacious plaza is to be created at the level of the Dworcowy Bridge and Glogowska Street. In addition, the tunnel under the tracks leading to the platforms is to be twice as wide as at present, and should be extended (under the neighboring Avenida shopping center), eastward to the planned bus station. Also included in the concept is, finally!, a connection between the station underground and the space of the Poznań International Fair.

koncepcja dla dworca PKP Poznań Główny, grudzień 2023 r.

Concept for the Poznan Central Railway Station, December 2023. - Diagram of the connections between the new Poznań Główny station and the city's public transportation system

Source: Miejska Pracownia Urbanistyczna / Poznań,

old without a chance

The concept, extensively presented in MPU's presentation, is clear and well-thought-out, and is consistent with the preliminary intentions of PKP, which is planning a major reconstruction of Poznan's now heavily burdened and inefficient rail hub. However, the construction of the new station and station will involve the demolition of the historic station building, which raises objections from lovers of history and the restoration of the forms of old architecture. Instead, the historic Western and Summer stations will be saved, the latter serving the German imperial family before 1918. There are optimistic suggestions that the failed new "station" and related infrastructure erected in 2012 will cease to exist.

tzw. chlebak, czyli budynek

The so-called breadbox, or "station" building from 2012, view from Towarowa Street - the "station" is a smaller part of the building (right), left: part of CH Avenida

photo: Jakub Glaz

Indeed, today Poznań Główny is a curiosity on a national, if not European scale. Poland's second (and in some years first) station in terms of passengers served is served by a flawed and non-functional building attached to the huge Avenida shopping center. Poznanians called it a "breadbox," because indeed it resembles a large bread bin. The building stands only over half of the station's tracks, far from many of the platforms, and is cramped, poorly located, with a form far from the original design (designed by Bose Architects, Pentagram). It has also been leaking recently. Buckets strewn about the main hall have been a common sight this year. The building was constructed from prefabricated elements in a record nine months for the EURO 2012 championships, and operated for more than a year alongside the old station - a repeated and extensively rebuilt 1880 building.

Dworzec Glowny w Poznaniu, dawny budynek dworca, obecnie nieczynny

Poznan Central Station, former station building, now closed - in the foreground - a fragment of the decapitated Dworcowy Square

photo: Jakub Glaz

once out of town

The old building was not ideal , but it played its role properly, adapted over the years to the increasing passenger traffic. Today, after the modernization of the 1960s and 1970s, it bears little resemblance to its original form. Situated island-like between two groups of tracks, with a spacious plaza in front of the main entrance, it provided an intuitive layout of platforms served by a straight, if too narrow, tunnel. The disadvantage, however, was the poor connection to the surrounding area and downtown. This was a result of the location of the main station outside the fortifications surrounding the city until the end of the 19th century (today it is on the edge of the strict city center, right next to the fairgrounds).

główne (!) wejście do budynku nowego „ dworca=

The main (!) entrance to the new PKP 'station' building - a narrow footbridge from the Station Bridge leads to the entrance between the Avenida shopping center and the station building

photo: Jakub Głaz

However, there are far more drawbacks to the "breadbox". We have written about them many times, as well as about the fact that Poznań residents have been demanding its restoration almost since the old building was closed, with many dreaming of a return to its pre-1945 form. On the part of the railroaders, there were announcements of the reconstruction of the old building, a competition for its transformation, the restoration of the historic facade, and the return of the station function to the old place. Nothing came of this, as we also regularly reported on our site.

Will this time be different? Hopes are raised by a move by PKP planning to rebuild Poznan's railroad junction to increase the number of tracks on the most heavily trafficked routes and make room for high-speed rail. This will also enable the development of agglomeration and regional traffic throttled by low capacity today. A tender for design work for the junction's modernization has already been issued.

many pluses

PKP, while informing sparsely in the summer about its intentions for the track layout within the station, revealed its intention to demolish the old building. This is sure to be the subject of controversy as well as protests, as some Poznań residents have become attached to the idea of returning the old building, whose original walls are still part of the station transformed half a century ago. In the comments, one can also hear doubts about any new project, which is not surprising after the railroaders proved that nothing at Poznań Główny station works out as it should. A return to history may therefore seem like a safe option.

koncepcja dla nowego dworca PKP Poznań Główny, grudzień 2023 r.

Concept for the new Poznań Główny train station, December 2023. - functional diagram

source: Miejska Pracownia Urbanistyczna, Poznań,

However, theconcept and MPU's detailed analysis show that abandoning the old layout makes a lot of sense and can cure the situation for decades to come. A compact "battery" of eight platforms will shorten the time it takes to get to a train, it will also make it possible to separate traffic into regional and long-distance, and it will free up space for a new Poznań Fast Tram stop (which a decade ago was located too far from the platforms). Also, the square connected to the Dworcowy Bridge is a functional and city-creating idea (today a narrow, squalid footbridge leads to the "station" from Dworcowy). In MPU's analysis, pedestrian connections to the surroundings also make sense, including - also - to the Musical Theater, whose construction is expected to start soon nearby on Skośna Street. The overall design will ensure intuitive use of the station, far from today's functional clutter.

koncepcja dla nowego dworca PKP Poznań Główny, grudzień 2023 r.

Concept for the new PKP Poznań Główny railway station, December 2023. - The new layout of the platforms and the route and stop of the Poznan Fast Tram

Source: Urban Planning Studio, Poznań,

The proposal of city planners is not carved in stone, however. Next year, there would be extensive and well-orchestrated public consultations on the concept just presented. An architectural competition could be held in 2025. The news was received by Poznań residents with curiosity, but also disbelief. They have already heard enough of announcements related to the modernization of the station. So far, however, the City has been quite reactive to the railroaders' intentions. Now, finally, it has prepared good material for further discussion and analysis. If it is not just an element of the election campaign, then - according to the words of Poznan Mayor Jacek Jaskowiak - "the construction of a new functional station is our most important challenge for the next 10 years. The further development of Poznań depends on whether we meet it."

Jakub Głaz

The vote has already been cast