Belgrade Centre railway station
Inside the station 2016
|Location||Prokupačka St., Belgrade
5 operational (6 planned)+ (2 metro platforms planned)
8 operational (10 planned)+ (2 metro tracks planned)
26 January 2016 (last opening)
The Belgradе Centre railway station (Serbian: Железничка станица Београд Центар / Železnička stanica Beograd Centar), known as Prokop (Serbian Cyrillic: Прокоп) during its construction, is the new railway station at the core of the massive reconstruction of the Belgrade railway junction in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, which officially started in 1974. Prokop is located in the Belgrade municipality of Savski Venac.
The unsuccessful, decades-long attempted construction of the new central railway station of Belgrade was hampered by a lack of funding to finish adjoining 14 km of tunnels, several railway bridges of whom the New Railroad Bridge across the Sava river, a new road network connecting to the city and technical installations. Belgrade Centre station was opened on 26 January 2016, serving only two daily trains to Novi Sad, as well as Belgrade commuter railways. The remaining platforms and tracks became operational and all services are to be rerouted to Prokop from the old Belgrade Main railway station.
Prokop is located at the southern edges of downtown Belgrade to which it is directly connected by the Kneza Miloša street. It borders the area of former Zapadni Vračar on the north, Mostar and Senjak on the west and Dedinje on the south. It is bounded by three boulevards: Franše D'Eperea (named after general D'Esperey and in fact a part of A1 highway), Vojvode Putnika and Kneza Aleksandra Karađorđevića (named after Prince Alexandre).
Prokop is located in the eastern section of the former neighborhood of Jatagan Mala. Previously, it was a geographical reference, as the area was located in the lower valley of the now underground stream of Mokroluški Potok. The earth and gravel were dug here and used to cover and drain the swamps on the Sava's right bank, so that neighborhoods of Savamala and Bara Venecija could be constructed, along with the building of Belgrade's central railway station. After the works were completed, the area around Mokroluški Potok was left as a steep, elongated cut in the ground and so got its name (Serbian prokop, cut or dug through). Jatagan Mala was demolished in the mid-to-late 1960s. The population of the modern local community of Prokop was 2,103 in 2002.
The ill-fated construction of the new railway station which was supposed to replace the old one in Savamala has lasted for decades. The official work began in 1977, it was halted in the 1980s, resumed in the 1990s and halted again in 2000. Originally, in the late 1960s, it was supposed to be constructed near the present interchange of Autokomanda, but the idea was suddenly dropped, and one of the major authorities at the time, Branko Žeželj, picked Prokop instead, which ultimately left the Autokomanda interchange unfinished. Despite constant attempts to build it and upgrade it, after years of starting and then halting works and bankrupted companies, Prokop railway station is still just one of a dozen secondary stations in Belgrade.
After the Avala Tower was destroyed in NATO bombing of Serbia 1999, certain Russian companies offered to build a new, higher (300 meters) TV tower in Prokop. No one took it seriously so the news was mostly used for publicity purposes.
As a curiosity, the daily newspaper Politika from March 8, 2007 reprinted its own article from 1957 about Prokop. The article, titled "For how long will Prokop defy the construction of the city", colors Prokop as a black hole in the city center and describes the project of the reconstruction of the Franše d'Eperea street (modern highway) which would include an artificial lake with lots of restaurants, foreseeing that Prokop will be the most beautiful part of Belgrade.
The construction of the Belgrade Waterfront and track removal in Savamala restarted the construction of the station once again in December 2014. Energoprojekt AD was once again selected as the contracting company and was given nearly 26 million euros and 14 months to complete the construction. For the first time the deadline was kept and the station was officially opened on 26 January 2016.
- "Vucic opens Prokop railway station after 40 years". Tanjug. 26 January 2016.
- "Vučić otvorio "Prokop" posle 40 godina gradnje: Cela stanica gotova 2018.". Blic. 26 January 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Prokop railway station.|
- Clip of the planned railway hub with metro interchange
- Clip about the Belgrade railway hub and Beovoz commuter network