Back after three weeks in London, I check to see how work on the Radom line is progressing. While I'm encouraged by the fact that progress is visible, I can also see how much work still lies ahead, and how the familiar face of my immediate neighbourhood will be changed by this project.
Below: at W-wa Okęcie, the footbridge linking the platform to the footbridge over the S79 is nearly ready for the finishing work - barriers etc. To the left I can see that there will be two south-bound ('down') tracks - the one further from the platform will be for goods trains - presumably the cisterns carrying avgas to the airport. Like at W-wa Służewiec, where interchange between trains is possible, W-wa Okęcie will have an island platform.
One stop further south to W-wa Dawidy. Here, the island platform will go. Behind the digger we see the new 'down' platform taking shape. Once ready, the tracks will return to a new track bed, and the remnants of the old island platform will be demolished. A new 'up' platform will follow once the second track has been lifted and renovated.
Heading south from W-wa Dawidy towards W-wa Jeziorki - a new culvert channelling a drainage ditch under the tracks is being installed. This operation has to be done one track at a time, and there's another such culvert between W-wa Jeziorki and Nowa Iwiczna that is being replaced in a similar fashion.
Below: on the other side of the track, where the culvert emerges to let water drain off the fields into the drainage ditch that runs to the Jeziorki ponds. The small clump of trees that once stood here have been felled. Atmosphere spoilt.
Below: the pedestrian crossing at ul. Kórnicka - one of my favourite spots in all Jeziorki. The trees that once gave this place its unique klimat have been cut down. From an operational point of view, I can understand it, having seen the effects of trees on the line when I travelled from Luton Airport towards London just after Storm Henry had hit. But this specific spot has now lost its character.
Below: W-wa Jeziorki's new 'down' platform starting to materialise from out of the mud. It will be to the north of ul. Karczunkowska. The 'up' line will run parallel to the 'down' line, rather than bending around the island platform here, which will be demolished.
Below: more destruction of klimat - that glade between the road to Biedronka and the bus loop has been cut down. It is making way for the new viaduct which will carry ul. Karczunkowska over the tracks. W-wa Jeziorki station and the level crossing are visible - just - in the distance.
On the border between Warsaw and the rest of Mazowsze. The next station to the south is Nowa Iwiczna. In the foreground, the tracks are lifted. Pedestrians walk the coal train line as ul. Gogolińska, that runs parallel to the railway line has been churned into an ocean of mud by the contractors' vehicles. A culvert is being replaced on this stretch too. The train is a Koleje Mazowieckie R8 service that stops at W-wa Davidy and W-wa Jeziorki, unlike the semi-fast RE8 service. This train's for Góra Kalwaria.
Below: approaching Nowa Iwiczna. Once again the island platform is to be removed, and the 'down' platform will now be south of its current location. Note the tracks have not yet been lifted, but they end a few hundred metres behind me. Their rusty condition shows they've not been used for some while. And note the distance between the current 'down' track and the new platform, which suggests the lines will be moved to the west to allow a less less tight radius curve than at present, allowing faster train speeds and thus shorter journey times.
Work on this project began in late-August last year. Winter has been mild (again), allowing work to proceed nearly every day. But seeing the scale of what's still needed to be done, it will be a long time coming. Less than a quarter of the way there, I'd estimate.
From 13 March, the timetable will be altered yet again making trains using this single track even less frequent. Just to remind you - from a half-hourly peak-time service, trains from W-wa Śródmieście to W-wa Jeziorki are now running every 75 minutes. Thousands of rail passengers will take to ul. Puławska. It is too cold and too dark for two-wheeled commuting. Things will get much, much worse before they finally get much, much better. Shame about the trees though.
This time last year:
How do we perceive good and evil?
This time two years ago:
Civilisation and a civil society
This time four years ago:
Strong, late-winter sunshine
This time five years ago:
Jeziorki's wetlands freeze over
This time six years ago
Kensington, a London village
This time seven years ago:
This time eight years ago:
A walk through Sadyba