Katowice railway station

Katowice railway station is a railway station in Katowice, Silesia, Poland, and the largest railway station in the Upper Silesian Industrial Region. Domestic and international trains connect at the station to most major cities in Europe; these are operated primarily by Polskie Koleje Państwowe.

Katowice
A
WK14 Katowice nocą.JPG
Location40-098 Katowice, Plac Marii i Lecha Kaczyńskich 2, city centre, Katowice, Silesian Voivodeship
Poland
Owned byPolskie Koleje Państwowe S.A.
Platforms8+2
History
Opened1972
Location
Katowice is located in Poland
Katowice
Katowice
Location within Poland
Katowice is located in Silesian Voivodeship
Katowice
Katowice
Katowice (Silesian Voivodeship)

During 1972, Katowice railway station was officially completed, having been built as a replacement station for the city's old terminus, Katowice historic train station. It is located in the centre of Katowice city, and forms of the biggest transport interchanges anywhere in Poland. As built, the railway station was located only a few minutes walk away from the city's main bus station. By the twenty-first century, Katowice railway station was reportedly being used by around 12 million passengers per year. The condition of the building had degraded over the course of 30 years, creating to an impetus for its replacement.

During July 2009, it was announced that the Polish government had signed an agreement with the Spanish construction firm Neinver for the latter to build a new integrated transportation hub and commercial center in the middle of Katowice, including the redevelopment of the existing railway station. During May 2010, ground was broken at the site, marking the official commencement of phase one of construction, which was focused on the main station building itself; a temporary building was used to host train services while the original hall was demolished and its replacement built. During phase two of the redevelopment programme, the station's platforms were progressively closed for reconstruction. Later phases of the work involved the construction of the retail, hotel, and other on-site facilities. By late 2012, the new main hall of the railway station and its integrated underground bus station had become operational; during the summer of 2013, the entire complex, including the adjoining Galeria Katowicka mall on Szewczyk Square, was officially completed.

HistoryEdit

1970s incarnationEdit

During the 1960s, work began on the construction of a replacement station for the city's old terminus, Katowice historic train station, which dated back to the nineteenth century. The new complex was designed to serve as a high-profile example of modern architecture; the main railway hall of the building was designed as a collaborative effort between the Polish architects Wacław Kłyszewski, Jerzy Mokrzyński and Eugeniusz Wierzbicki, while the construction of the station was supervised by the noted civil engineer and designer Wacław Zalewski. Beyond its aesthetic qualities, the hall's design took into account the troublesome ground conditions present at the site, as the region has been previously used for coal mining and is known to remain susceptible to tectonic movement to the present day.[1]

 
Station in 1973

During 1972, Katowice railway station was officially completed and passenger services commenced that year. It is located in the centre of Katowice city, and forms of the biggest transport interchanges anywhere in Poland.[1] Since opening, the station has accommodated connecting services through to various major cities across Poland, as well as to many international destinations across Europe. Around the start of the twenty-first century, it is believed that, on average, around 520 trains per day were stopping at Katowice Railway Station, while the facility was also being used by roughly 12 million passengers annually.[1]

Through the station, Katowice is connected to major cities including Vienna, Budapest, Kiev, Berlin, Ostrava, Prague, Bratislava, Zilina, Hamburg, Moscow and Minsk. The railway station is located only a few minutes walk away from the city's main bus station; this closeness serves to ease passenger movements between the two transit networks.[1]

However, by the twenty-first century, the condition of Katowice railway station was visibly deteriorating in places.[1] Specifically, inspections of the building's cup-shaped pillar structures discovered that many has fallen into a poor condition and that correcting this weakness required considerable remedial action to guarantee long-term structural integrity, or would necessitate the building's demolition. Following an analysis of the possible options, it was determined that the facility's wholesale replacement via the site's redevelopment was the preferred option.[1] During June 2009, PKP SA (Polish State Railways SA) unveiled its plans for the modernisation and commercialisation of various railway stations across the country in the near-future, including Katowice railway station. During this announcement, it was revealed that considerable planning activity had already been conducted on the initiative, including the scheduling of investments and securing of finance, as well as detailed modernisation plans, in conjunction with the public revealing of the strategy.[1]

2010s redevelopmentEdit

 
Interior of the redeveloped railway station, 2013

During July 2009, it was announced that the Polish government had signed a construction agreement with the Spanish construction firm Neinver, under which the latter would perform the construction of a new integrated transportation hub and commercial center in the middle of Katowice.[1] This programme involved the reconstruction of the existing railway station, along with the construction of an underground bus station, an adjacent shopping center (Galeria Katowicka) and an office tower;[2] other changes included the reconfiguring of various streets, sidewalks and public space located around the railway station. The underground part of the complex will feature new multi-storey car parking facilities. Reportedly, the overall investment was estimated in 2009 to come to around 240 million euros.[1][3]

As planned, the redeveloped railway station is not to be entirely newly built; instead, it is intended to retain several existing elements of the building, albeit renovated and modernised where deemed to be suitable or necessary.[1] The problematic cup-shaped pillars are on such element, being reinforced rather than removed; a grand new entrance into the main hall of the station is to be developed between the two cups. A glazed structure which connects between the railway station and the new retail and office facilities shall be constructed; the shopping and office complex are to be located upon a newly built elevation, composed primarily of perforated steel structures, these are reportedly intended to provide an aesthetically-pleasing lighting effect via their highly reflective characteristics. will make the building resemble a lighted city centre at night. The existing terrace, leading to a footbridge over the square on Szewczyk Fashion Avenue, is to be demolished.[1]

 
Neon sign of the station

During May 2010, ground was broken at the site, marking the official commencement of the construction phase of the new project. By the end of September 2010, a temporary train station had been opened to accommodate the diversion of passenger services; the old station concourse was closed on 1 October 2010.[1] The first phase of construction was focused on the main station building itself, which is features a one-story hall featuring multiple ticketing counters and information desks, along with 31 retail outlets and trade points, a spacious waiting area for passengers, and compressive closed-circuit television coverage across the complex. As designed, it is to be suited for being simultaneously used by up to 5,000 passengers at any one time, and serve an estimated 12 million visitors per year.[1] The demolition of the old main hall was performed between 22 December 2010 and 11 January 2011. The main station hall was originally scheduled for completion by May 2012; however, the new one-level station hall was eventually opened during October 2012, several months behind schedule.[1]

During the ensuring months, a number of the station's platforms were shut off and services redirected so that work could be performed on them, which was undertaken as series of staggered platform reconstructions, performed during phase two of the redevelopment programme.[1] The entire complex, including the adjoining Galeria Katowicka mall on Szewczyk Square, was completed by the summer of 2013, with the new main hall and its integrated (underground) bus station having entered operation by late 2012. The main hall is connected through to the platforms through a series of fixed and removable ramps.[1] The redevelopment programme entailed a total development area of around 136,000m², of which 17,350m² of the gross building area (GBA) was the railway station itself, while 8,100m² GBA was used for offices and 4,800m² for an on-site hotel.[1] During March 2018, the newly built mall was sold to Malaysian investment fund Kwasa Europe.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Katowice Railway Station Redevelopment." railway-technology.com, Retrieved: 17 June 2018.
  2. ^ http://www.dworzec-katowice.pl Galeria Katowicka
  3. ^ Cheng, Thean Lee. "EPF buys Polish retail mall for RM1.4bil." thestar.com.my, 22 May 2018.
  4. ^ Cichla, Anita. "Galeria Katowicka now sold." eurobuildcee.com, 30 March 2018.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 50°15′30″N 19°01′03″E / 50.25833°N 19.01750°E / 50.25833; 19.01750