PKP Chojnice. 2022.

Kraków 2022-09-20

Railway station in Chojnice.

Geographic coordinates: 53.689N 17.578E.

PKP Chojnice. 2015 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
PKP Chojnice. 2015 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

PKP Chojnice. 2015 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
PKP Chojnice. 2015 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Map Chojnice. 2022 year. Work by Karol Placha Hetman
Map Chojnice. 2022 year. Work by Karol Placha Hetman

City Chojnice.

Chojnice is a city in Poland located in the Pomeranian Voivodeship and is the seat of the Chojnice Poviat. In 2021, Chojnice had 39,500 inhabitants. Geographical Chojnice is located in the Krajeńskie Lake District, surrounded by the Tuchola Forest. There are many small lakes nearby. North of Chojnice is the Bory Tucholskie National Park. The area of ​​the city is 21,050 km2. The nearest cities are: Człuchów, Tuchola, Debrzno, Kamień Krajeński. It is 115 km to Gdańsk from Chojnice, 315 km to Warsaw, 90 km to Piła, 170 km to Poznań, 80 km to Bydgoszcz.

The name Chojnice comes from the common coniferous tree in this region, popularly known as choina. In the coat of arms of Chojnice there is a head of the aurochs decorated with a flower between the horns, which also refers to the forest surrounding the city.

The settlement already existed here in the 11th century and was surrounded by an earth and wooden embankment. In 1275, the Augustinian order was already here. The settlement was located at the intersection of trade routes and the isthmus between lakes. The town was under Polish rule. In 1300, as a result of the battle between the Pomeranian people and Poland, which happened near Chojnice, the town came under the rule of the Pomeranian tribes. The city was founded in 1326, and in 1360 the location was renewed. From around 1360, Chojnice came under the rule of the Teutonic Knights. The Teutonic Knights turned the city into a fortress with a brick wall, 24 towers, 3 entrance gates and a moat. The wars between Poland and the Teutonic Knights resulted in the fact that the city changed hands. In 1440, Chojnice joined the Prussian Union. In 1466, Chojnice finally became part of the Polish Crown, a part of Royal Prussia.

In the 16th century, the city developed well, thanks to cloth-making and trade in grain and wood. In 1623, the Jesuit order was brought to Chojnice, and they founded the first school in Chojnice. The heyday was halted by the Swedish invasion (1655–1660), which led to the destruction of the city. Like other cities, Chojnice did not avoid epidemics and fires.

In 1772, as a result of the first partition of the Polish Republic, Chojnice became part of the Kingdom of Prussia, under the German name of Konitz. Since then, there has been a socio-economic decline. The exit from the regression was initiated by investments such as the construction of road and railroads. The first circular roads were led to Nakło, Tuchola and Kościerzyna, established in 1856. In 1870, the municipal gas plant was opened. In 1871, a railway from Piła was brought to Chojnice, and in the following years, railway routes in other directions. In 1900, a water supply and a power plant were put into operation, and in 1909, a municipal sewage system.

After the Great World War, under the Treaty of Versailles, the Chojnice Poviat became part of the Independent, Second Polish Republic. During the interwar period, Chojnice played the role of a center of administration, social life, education, culture, tourism, a center of trade and services for the region of southern Kashubia and Bory Tucholskie.

In 1939, after difficult fights, Chojnice was occupied by the German army. During the occupation, the Germans showed great brutality towards the Polish and Jewish population. The Germans carried out murders in the so-called "Valley of Death" lying in the Igielskie Fields. About 2,000 inhabitants of Chojnice and the surrounding area were murdered here. There was a resistance movement in Chojnice, called the Secret Military Organization "Gryf Pomorski". On February 14, 1945, Chojnice was captured by the Soviet army. As a result of the fighting, 45% of the city's buildings were destroyed. The reconstruction of the city began immediately after the Soviets handed over the city to the Polish side.

Road communication.

The national road No. 22 Gorzów Wielkopolski - Elbląg runs through the city. In 2008, the southern bypass of the city was put into operation, thanks to which the transit on road No. 22 was shortened. The provincial roads No. 212 Bytów - Chojnice - Zamarte, No. 240 Świecie - Tuchola - Chojnice lead through Chojnice. No. 235 Korne - Chojnice.

History of railways in Chojnice.

The railway line reached Chojnice in 1871, as part of the Royal Eastern Railways - "Ostbahn". It was led from Piła through Złotów and for several years Chojnice was the final station. On November 15, 1871, at 10:07 am, the first freight and passenger train from Piła officially entered Chojnice station. The next section from Chojnice to Tczew was launched in 1873. Chojnice became a railway junction on November 15, 1877, after the construction of the line to Człuchów, which in 1878 was extended to Szczecinek. In 1883, the line Chojnice - Tuchola and further Wierzchucin and Laskowice Pomorskie were built. In 1894, the Nakło nad Notecią - Chojnice line was built. In 1902, a line was built from Chojnice through Brusy - Lipusz - Kościerzyna. This line was treated as a further part of the line from Nakło nad Notecią. During this period, there were connections with Człuchów, Lipusz, Bytów, Kościerzyna and Laskowice Pomorskie.

The station in Chojnice was located in the south-eastern part of the city. The station building was put into operation in 1871. As a result of the construction of other railway lines, the station was placed between the tracks. It was common practice to come to this. The difference is that instead of railroad crossings in the south-west head of the Chojnice station, no embankments with viaducts over the tracks (for example Poznań Główny) were built, but a ravine and streets under the tracks were dug.

From 1920, when the Second Polish Republic was reborn, the Chojnice station became a border station. The Polish-German border ran about 10 km west of Chojnice. The Germans obtained privileges for transit trains from Germany to East Prussia. The second border station was Tczew. German trains were driven by Polish locomotives and Polish railwaymen. On their territory, the Germans built a railway link between the village of Brzeźno (Chojnice - Człuchów line) and the village of Wierzchowo (Chojnice - Złotów line).

Defensive war of 1939.

Chojnice as a junction station was important not only for Poland, but also for the German invaders.

At 4:15 am, the train officer in Chojnice received the news that the scheduled transit train from Berlin-Tylża (currently Soviet) had arrived at the station. The train was supposed to enter the station at exactly 4:23 am. The train, after 8 minutes of stopping in Chojnice, at 4:31 am, should continue its journey to Tylża.

As it turned out, instead of the scheduled train, an armored draisine entered first, followed by an armored train from which the Wehrmacht unit got off. There were fights. Polish soldiers blew up the viaduct over the Angowicka road. The draisine was destroyed. As a result of the overwhelming enemy force, around 2 p.m., Polish troops received an order to retreat across the Brda River. The Nazi occupation began. For trying to defend the station in Chojnice, the Germans arrested several railwaymen and imprisoned them in the concentration camp in Stutthof, where they died.

Fighting in 1945.

In January 1945, the German army was getting ready to defend Chojnice and the railway junction. The attack of the 2nd Belorussian Front was chaotic. The battle for Tuchola lasted from February 11 to February 14, 1945. Muscovites attacked from the south. The German defense was punctual, and between these points the Soviet tanks gradually broke through, also finally on the night of February 14-15, 1945, the city of Tuchola was seized. However, the Soviet losses were large. They lost about 100 tanks in combat.

All in all, however, the Germans were in retreat and were leaving the next resistance points in order not to get to the boiler. This was the case with the defenders of Grudziądz on February 16, 1945. After the bridge was demolished over the Vistula River, the Soviets locked the Germans in a cauldron without being able to receive support or withdraw. The defense of Grudziądz fell on March 5, 1945.

From February 16, 1939, the situation of the Germans was increasingly difficult. They were running out of fuel and ammunition. Due to the waning will to fight, it was impossible to regain the once lost areas.

Chojnice was defended by four units of the 4th Armored Division. These units were supported by units of the 7th Armored Division, which had previously taken part in the defense of Elbląg. The fights for Chojnice, Rytel and Czersk lasted from 20 to 24 February 1945. The Germans received new "Panther" tanks that were able to crush Soviet heavy "Stalin" tanks. The front hesitated all the time. The Germans strenuously defended themselves in the direction of Starogard Gdański. They concentrated the greatest forces between Czersk and Starogard Gdański. The fight for Lubichowo and Skórcz was particularly fierce. Thus, Chojnice, which was destroyed in 45%, was occupied by the Soviets on February 25, 1945.

At the end of February 1945, the Soviets turned many routes in the Chojnice area into broad-gauge ones. They dismantled many double-track lines, leaving only one track. They also demolished many railway sidings leading to factories. The Soviets dealt with the railroad methodically. The east-west railroads were turned into a wide track. The north-south routes were dismantled and taken to the CCCP. It is estimated that about 5,000 - 5,500 kilometers of railway tracks were removed from the "Regained Territories". For comparison, the total length of railway lines in Poland in 2019 was 19,503 km.

Chojnice after the war.

The biggest development of the railway junction in Chojnice took place in the 1950s. This was due to the opening of many new workplaces in the area. Railroad was the best means of transportation. Many tracks were improved, which the Soviets turned into a wide track. Destroyed bridges and viaducts were rebuilt as a result of the Second World War. At that time, the final track layout was created in Chojnice. A large group of tracks for freight trains has been built in the south-eastern part of the station. There was a hump that does not exist today. There are as many as 14 of these tracks and their numbers are from 23 to 49. These tracks enable the formation of freight trains in both directions, even up to 700 m long. On the northern side, there are loading tracks with a ramp and a loading yard. Currently, there is a new bus station on this site. There are several holding tracks from the Czersk side. The old coal entanglements have also survived to this day.

As there has never been a turntable for locomotives in Chojnice and none of the locomotives was of the fan type, a track triangle was used to change the direction of the steam locomotives. It was located at the exit from the station towards Tuchola. There was also a siding for the “Mostostal Chojnice” factory.

Despite such an extensive railway network, it was possible to avoid paralysis of road traffic in Chojnice. Most of the intersections are collision-free. Currently (2022) there are only three rail-road crossings; Przemysłowa Street, Długa Street and Sępoleńska Street (DW No. 212).

Despite the plans, the Chojnic junction has not been electrified and is the largest railway junction "without wires" in Poland.

On April 1, 1991, the operation of passenger trains with steam traction was completed. The locomotive depot in Kościerzyna has been closed. More diesel locomotives were directed to Chojnice. Steam locomotives of various types ruled here for many years. Since 1991, diesel locomotives SP45, SU46, SU42, SM42, ST43, ST44 can be found here. For several years, ST44 locomotives were renovated here. For several years, SM42-10 and SM42-20 locomotives have been used on wire-free routes, which are modern diesel locomotives with two power generators from Caterpillar. The passenger rolling stock includes Bdhpumn / Bmnopux double-decker carriages, commonly known as "Bohun". There are also used wagons "Bonanza", ie wagon 120A. Until 2010, OHP double-decker wagons (consisting of four units) were used, but these wagons have already been used up and have been removed from the state. In 1992, rail buses of the SA101 series appeared in Chojnice. They were directed to the relationship between Chojnice and Kościerzyna. In 2001, the Rolling Stock Plant in Chojnice was closed.

At the beginning of the 21st century, as a result of a difficult situation, PKP made major cuts to passenger connections in Poland. In Chojnice, thanks to the self-government of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, the connection between Chojnice and Kościerzyna was maintained. In 2007, Arriva PCC Rail trains appeared on the tracks in Chojnice.

Currently, it is practiced to combine a rail bus or PCS with one trailer car. In the trailer car there are additional places for travelers and a place for transporting bicycles, which are a frequent holiday accessory. This is a makeshift solution because the dynamics of such a train is limited. It is difficult to compose a train set from one series. For comparison: the SU42-10 diesel locomotive (with two aggregates) with several carriages can move off the platform very quickly and maintain a route speed of 90 km / h. On the other hand, SZT SA139 with one trailer has clear problems, and the driver has to make good use of the hill descents to climb the next driveway at the scheduled speed.

Perhaps, in such an area as Chojnice, NEWAG hybrid trains would work well. The problem is that for this type of rolling stock, some routes without wires and some routes with wires are needed, and Chojnice is routes without electric traction.

Chojnice station now. 2022.

The station building is currently under renovation (2022). Due to the renovation of the station building, the ticket office and toilets were closed. A ticket machine has been installed. The station is brick, multi-block. In 2015, the building was handed over to the municipal government, and talks continued until 2011.

In front of the station building there is a square with a TAXI stop, stops for long-distance buses and MZK Chojnice. Currently, the station square has also been closed and renovated. It is planned to build a large parking lot for bicycles, because many passengers come to the station by bicycle. In January 2022, a new bus station and a parking lot on the Platform 1 side were opened. There is a free container toilet and bicycle stands. There is a TAXI stop here. The facility is located between Nad Dworcem and Towarowa Streets. Both stations are connected by a passenger tunnel.

There are five platforms at the station. All platforms are of a low type, approximately 0.30 m above the rail head. The surfaces of the platforms are paved or made of small paving tiles. All platforms and the station building are connected by a passenger tunnel. Platform 1 is island-type and lies in the north-west part of the station. Platform 1 is 200 m long and has a roof 45 m long. Platform 2 has a single edge and is located at the station. Platform 2 is 250 m long. Platform 3 is also single-edged and is located at the station on the south-eastern side. Platform 3 is 250 m long. Platform 4 is island, double-edged and can receive trains up to 300 m long. The platform has a 65 m long roof. Platform 5 is similar to Platform 4, but the platform is narrower.

At the Chojnice station, railway traffic is controlled by two control rooms "Ch" and "Ch1". In the 1960s, all shaped semaphores were replaced with light semaphores.

The depot is currently (2022) used to service the rolling stock of the PolRegio carrier. From 1945 to 2001, Zakład Rolling Chojnice operated, to which branches in Tczew and Szczecinek were subordinated. For many years Zakład Rolling Chojnice were connected with Kościerzyna. Most of the former technical buildings of PKP were taken over by Przewozy Regionalne, and now PolRegio. There are also other companies in the buildings. One of them was a company that renovated passenger carriages. There are a lot of unused trains, locomotives and carriages at the station. For example, the EMU EN57 stands. Some of the rolling stock will be overhauled, and some will be dismantled.

The former dormitory building is waiting for renovation or demolition. There are two water towers at the station. Since 1991, the water towers have ceased to be operated. The small water tower at the locomotive shed also requires a decision; renovation or demolition. The large water tower, which has become a permanent feature of the Chojnice station landscape, is likely to be renovated as a historical object with a different purpose.

Railway traffic.

Chojnice station had the greatest movement of passenger trains in the 1980s. At that time, PKP carried the most goods and passengers among European countries, although we did not have the longest railway network. Since 1991, the number of connections has decreased. In 2008, 10 pairs of trains ran to Tczew, 2 pairs of trains to Gdynia via Tczew, 5 pairs of trains to Piła, 2 pairs of trains to Krzyż via Piła, 5 pairs of trains to Szczecinek, 5 pairs of trains to Bydgoszcz, 1 pair of trains to Toruń 4 pairs of trains to Kościerzyna.

2001 was the worst year when only a few connections remained.

In 2022, Chojnice has passenger trains: Krzyż 5 pairs of trains, carrier PolRegio, Bydgoszcz Główna 6 pairs of trains, carrier ARRIVA, Tczew 9 pairs of trains, carrier PolRegio, Słupsk 1 pair of trains, carrier PolRegio, Szczecinek 2 pairs of trains, carrier PolRegio, Kostrzyn 3 pairs of trains carrier PolRegio and TLK, Gdynia Główna 2 pairs of trains, carrier InterCity and TLK. Kościerzyna 2 pairs (temporarily suspended). During the holiday season, the Chojnice - Gdynia route is extended to the Hel station. Every day, 28 passenger trains depart from Chojnice station. There is no connection to Gorzów Wielkopolski via Piła and Krzyż. There is also no connection to Runowo Pomorskie via Szczecinek and Czaplinek. There used to be a connection to Warsaw via: Tuchola - Laskowice Pomorski - Grudziądz - Jabłonowo Pomorskie - Brodnica - Sierpc - Nasielsk. In 2019, the Chojnice station served approximately 1,550 passengers a day.

Currently (2022), freight train traffic at Chojnice station is not high. Freight wagons are mainly served by local workplaces. Sometimes long-distance freight trains run through Chojnice when there is heavy traffic on the transit routes. The great advantage of Chojnice and the surrounding routes is the much larger gauge of the operated freight trains, which is favorable for the transport of unusual loads. Military trains constitute a significant percentage of freight trains. This development began with Poland's accession to NATO, i.e. on March 12, 1999.

Railway routes:

No. 203 Tczew - Küstrin Kietz. The line was No. 404 in 1948, and No. 426 in 1988. The railway line No. 203 is a first-class single- and double-track railway line of national importance connecting the Tczew station with the Kostrzyn station. Length of 342.890 km.

No. 208 Działdowo - Chojnice. The line was No. 433 in 1948 and No. 431 in 1988. The railway line No. 208 is almost entirely non-electrified, single-track, first-class railway connecting Działdowo with Chojnice through Lidzbark, Brodnica, Jabłonowo Pomorskie, Grudziądz, Laskowice, Wierzchucin and Tuchola.

No. 210 Chojnice - Runowo Pomorskie. The line was No. 363 in 1948, and No. 385 in 1988. The railway line No. 210 is a first-class, single- and double-track, non-electrified railway line of national importance connecting Chojnice with Runowo Pomorskie through Szczecinek, Złocieniec and Drawsko Pomorskie.

No. 211 Chojnice - Kościerzyna. The line was No. 442 in 1948, and No. 424 in 1988. The railway line No. 211 is a secondary railway line connecting Chojnice with Kościerzyna through Brusy and Lipusz.

No. 281 Oleśnica - Chojnice. The line was No. 442 in 1948, and No. 424 in 1988. The railway line No. 281 is a partially electrified railway line connecting Oleśnica and Chojnice via Milicz, Krotoszyn, Jarocin, Września, Gniezno, Janowiec Wielkopolski, Nakło nad Notecią and Więcbork. Railway line of national importance on the Oleśnica - Milicz section.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman