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A sad anniversary - Poznań still without a real train station

06 of September '21

Recent months have brought a rash of news about train stations being renovated or expanded across the country. Meanwhile, Poznan's main station can't wait for a real station building. The latest and vague date for fixing the situation is 2026. To sweeten the deal, an additional platform is being built and minor organizational changes have been announced.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the start of construction of the building, which was named Poznań Central Station. The opening of the so-called "breadbox" (design: BOSE International, Pentagram), which is part of the Avenida shopping center, took place moments before the 2012 European Football Championship. The construction of the "station" by Trigranit was part of a classified agreement between the Hungarian developer and the railroad. Thus, it was built to redirect passengers to an extremely functionally and aesthetically unsuccessful shopping center (we wrote about the details of the creation of the investment two years ago in the text "The station itself evil")

dworzec pkp poznań

View of the Avenida shopping center connected with the station building ("station" is the extreme part of the "breadbox" on the right)

photo: Jakub Głaz

not two years from now

The "breadbasket" lacks much to be called a station, and the city is looking forward to when the railroaders will restore Poznan's old main station building, which is larger and more functionally located, but was shut down for passenger service in 2013. In the spring of 2020, even the Parliamentary Team for the Poznan Central Railway Station and the Poznan Railway Junction was constituted. What did it accomplish? The rubric informing about the team's meetings on the parliamentary website shines empty.

Individual MPs and deputies intervene or try to achieve something. However, the effects are equally meager. Even Jadwiga Emilewicz, who was affiliated with the ruling coalition until recently, admitted in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza in the spring that things are getting complicated. Earlier, in February 2020, as Minister of Development, she firmed up the signing of a letter of intent between the city and the railroad. The station was to be restored in 2023. It was also announced, once again, to build accompanying commercial facilities. Meanwhile, this year, MP Catherine Ueberhan 's interpellation was answered by the Ministry of Infrastructure.

Platform 1: a cacophony of forms and shapes between the old station building and the parking lot adjacent to the new facility.

The site plan makes clear the non-functionality of the entire station layout.

Photo: Jakub Głaz

The content of the ministerial response is depressing. Despite the fact that as early as 2016 there were already project fittings for the restitution of the station at the old site, and later there were more dates for remedying the situation, officials inform us that the country 's second-largest station in terms of passenger service will not live to see a decent and functional edifice until 2026 at the earliest. On the other hand, the extension of the underpass connecting the platforms is not expected to be completed until the third quarter of next year. At that time, the new platform, which has been under construction under the "breadbox" building for more than a year, is also expected to be ready. The course of the extended tunnel is a curiosity at the same time. Instead of running further on an east-west axis, so as to create an exit in front of the shopping center, the passage has been "bent" at a right angle and will lead toward the side of Składowa Street with an exit near a complex of new residential and office buildings.

Construction of the new track and platform (left) under the new station building

photo: Jakub Głaz

Also still missing is a functional connection between the PKP station and the PKS facility located under Avenida. The new tunnel will only partially ease passengers' transition from bus to train and vice versa. As a consolation, the announcement remains that by the end of next year the PKP will finally put the extremely chaotic and unintuitive numbering of platforms in order. Urban activists have been clamoring for such changes for a long time, and - finally - the impossible is becoming likely.

formal stalemate

However, renumbering is a drop in the ocean of needs. If the current situation is to continue for another five years, the PKP should clean up the station area, solidly clean and renovate the neglected tunnel, and introduce more functional passenger amenities. Today, even the displays informing of departures and arrivals hung on the facade of the multilevel parking lot at the "breadbox" are unreadable for most of the day, when the sun or bright sky is reflected in them.

Illegible displays at the station square

Photo: Jakub Głaz

Platforms 1-3, built sub-standard from scratch along with the "breadbox," are also asking for a new surface and small architecture. The railroaders have renovated only the other three platforms in recent years (in an extremely inconsistent manner), as well as the Western Station, a small building on Glogowska Street in the vicinity of the fair. The stairs leading from the Station Bridge to the extremely neglected square in front of the station buildings have also been renovated.

Meanwhile, a stalemate continues on matters of principle. In response to MP Ueberhan's interpellation, the railroaders reported that last December they submitted to the magistrate the assumptions of agreements on future cooperation. They include, among other things, the device of an architectural competition for the transformation of the station and station, as well as, among other things, the withdrawal by the city of applications for the communalization of railroad property. Such documents were submitted by the city in 2018, in the face of the railroad's procrastination. However, nine months have passed and there is no news of the signing of the agreement. The shuffling series starring Poznan's train station will probably have many more seasons.

Jakub GŁAZ

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