Lublin

In contrast to Silesia and the territories annexed to Prussia and Austria, railway in the Congress Kingdom was developing rather slowly and with difficulty. This was a result of the fears of the Russians, who believed that in the event of armed conflict railroads could facilitate transport for the enemy. The construction of the Vistula River Railway was, therefore, subject to military considerations, so in the first place it joined Warsaw with Modlin (fortress), Dęblin (fortress), Łuck, Równe and Dubno. The works started in 1874, and were completed within only three years (according to some sources – two years. The part of the line linking Kovel with the fertile Lublin region became an important one. Interestingly, the whole Vistula River Railway was built according to Russian standards, as a broad-gauge railway.

 

The future location of the Lublin station was considered for as long as 15 years. Eventually the permits were granted, and the station was to be built on the Piaski suburbs. A durable and splendid edifice was erected between 1875 and 1877. It was designed by Witold Lanci (constructor of the Vistula River Railway), and the construction bid was given to Frumkin, Gwozdiew and Żurawlew. The team of 200 workers, brought in from the Government of Kaluga region, was supervised by Władysław Kraszkiewicz. The local population was keenly interested in the construction.

 

Like everywhere in the world, railway had a positive impact on the development of the city and the surrounding area. The necessity to extend the station was predicted already at that time. The building was surrounded by lawns and green areas, where citizens planted flowers which they gifted themselves. Carports were built over the platforms, and gas street lanterns appeared around the station. Soon after the inauguration, the station became a stop for sanitary trains from the Balkans.

The original railway station building in Lublin on a 19th century postcard

In 1893 – 1894, engineer Jan Albrycht supervised extension of the station. A new west wing and annexes (one for a station-master, and one for a telegraph) were added. In the main building separate rooms for men and women were built. The new buildings took the place of former green areas, and the square near the station was covered with cobblestones. Unfortunately, as a result of this remodelling, the station lost part of its visual appeal.

 

Further modification was introduced in 1923 – 1924. The new shape of the station was the work of engineer Romuald Miller, head of the department of architecture at the National Railway Regional Board (DOKP) in Warsaw, who designed the building in a country manor style. The facility gained eclectic features, and it finally lost its appearance of a small Tsarist station. The level of the square in front of the main building was also lowered by one metre.

 

The railway station in Lublin was listed in the register of the voivodeship's historical places in 1974. According to specialists, however, its unattractive surroundings do not emphasise the beauty of the building or its original architecture. In 2004, an overhaul, which lasted 10 years and included adding another extension, was completed. In the first decade of the 21st century the station served the greatest number of passengers in Eastern Poland, and an increased trend has been noted. A historic completion of the station is a locomotive depot with a turntable and water cranes for filling the water supplies in steam locomotives.

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© Całość praw autorskich - Antoni Bochen, Filip Wiśniewski