Krakow carriages and steam locomotives

In the 1820s. Carriages were the main means of transport in Krakow (Cracovians had over them 200) and horse mail, departing from Stradom and connecting Krakow with Warsaw, Wroclaw, Lwowem, Vienna and Hungary (the journey by postal ambulance to Warsaw lasted 22 hours!). W 1829 r. one of the pioneers of Austrian railways, prof. Riepl, announced a project to build a large main road connecting Galicia with Vienna and the Adriatic Sea. A project on such a large scale could not be implemented, but in 1844 r. the Senate of the Free City of Krakow approved a project to build a railway connecting the city with Upper Silesia via Chrzanów and Jaworzno. Initially, the station building was to be erected outside the city limits – near Łobzów, Ultimately, however, the city bought land in the vicinity of ul. Lubicz and Pawiej, where the farmland ran almost to the center. In October 1844 r. the cornerstone was blessed, three years later, the Kraków-Mysłowice line was officially opened. The first steam locomotive on it was given the name “Cracow” (Its silver model is kept in the Historical Museum). The most popular was the walking train to Krzeszowice and the connection with the Warsaw-Vienna railway launched a year later. There were crowds of onlookers at the station watching the trains coming and going twice a day. Tickets were sold only for seats. At the first bell, people got into the carriages, for the second, conductors locked the compartments with a key (the carriages had no corridors, each compartment was entered through a separate door directly from the platform), the third bell was the signal to depart. At stations, the railway service opened compartments, by calling station name and idle time. You only got into the compartment with hand luggage, while the trunks and suitcases traveled “with a packing car” Train station building, one of the prettiest in Europe, built in the neo-gothic style. The trains entered a large indoor hall along three tracks, where the platforms were located (later the roof was removed, because it was trapping too much smoke and soot). On the number platforms, they carried their luggage, waiters from the station restaurant delivered drinks on trays, sandwiches, sweets and fruit, serving passengers through the train windows.

A lot has changed since then. But Krakow is returning to the covered platforms again, elegant railway station restaurants and attention to the comfort of passengers.