Warszawa Centralna railway station
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|Address||Al. Jerozolimskie 54, Śródmieście, Warsaw, Masovian
(Warszawa Centralna – Katowice)
(Warszawa Centralna – Terespol)
|Owned by||Polskie Koleje Państwowe S.A.|
Warszawa Centralna is the primary railway station in Warsaw, Poland. Designed by architect Arseniusz Romanowicz, its construction began in 1972 and was completed in 1975. The station, located on the Warsaw Cross-City Line, features four underground island platforms with eight tracks in total and is served by the long-distance domestic and international trains of PKP Intercity and Przewozy Regionalne as well as some of the regional trains operated by Koleje Mazowieckie
However, the project encountered substantial problems from the very beginning. The station's design was innovative but plagued by continuous alterations to the scope of work and sub-standard construction quality, which in turn hurt functionality and operations upon completion. The problems with the scope and construction were in part to blame on a hasty completion date set to coincide with Leonid Brezhnev's 1975 visit to the capital of the Soviet Union's largest satellite state. The design and construction problems necessitated immediate repairs that would continue through the 1980s. Despite the deficiencies, the structure was fairly advanced for its time and incorporated such features as automatic doors, as well as escalators and elevators for each platforms.
After a period of decline, a cosmetic upgrade of the station in 2010-2011 was completed in time for the Euro 2012 championships. The Warsaw city government is now contemplating demolishing and replacing the station, 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. Some elements of the Warsaw press (e.g. Gazeta Wyborcza and Architektura Murator 2012), as well as Swiss journalist and historian Werner Huber, have argued against demolition, claiming that the current Warszawa Centralna is a great example of functionalist architecture and a masterpiece of Polish modernism.
The station is fully accessible to the disabled as well as passengers with heavy luggage.
Warszawa Centralna flanked on either side by two other rail stations: to the west lies Warszawa Śródmieście WKD, the terminus of the WKD suburban light rail line; to the east lies Warszawa Śródmieście PKP, served by suburban trains run by Koleje Mazowieckie and Szybka Kolej Miejska.
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.
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