Wałcz railway station.
Wałcz is a city located in north-western Poland in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. Geographically, it is located in the Wałeckie Lakeland. Historically, it is located in Greater Poland. The city is located on Lake Raduń, Lake Zamkowe and the Pilica River. The city is located 109 m above sea level. Wałcz has an area of 38.17 km2. In 2016, the city had 26 140 inhabitants, and in 2021, only 24 802 inhabitants. Wałcz is a city of tourist values with a small industry, mainly agro-processing.
Wałcz is far away from large cities in Poland. The closest is Piła, 28 km. Other cities are: Szczecin (144 km), Bydgoszcz (113 km), Poznań (132 km), Gorzów Wielkopolski (107 km), Koszalin (137 km).
Wałcz was a strong military garrison for many years, both in Prussian times and later in Poland. Currently, the following stations are stationed in Wałcz: the Communications Forces (reformed), the 49th Warsaw Mechanized Regiment (reformed), the 100th Communication Battalion, the 1st Regional Logistics Base and the 107th Military Hospital.
History of the city of Wałcz.
The city was founded at a time when Polish kings ruled here, because the tribes of Polans were here. King Bolesław Krzywousty stayed in the city. The first royal castle was built at that time. The city was on the salt route from Kołobrzeg. Around 1300, when the Polish Crown faced difficulties, the dukes of Brandenburg occupied the Wałcz Land. On April 23, 1303, the town obtained city rights under Western law. For political reasons, in 1368, Margrave Otto V Lazy gave the Wałcz Land to King Casimir the Great. The Wałcz Land, as a dowry of the royal daughter Elżbieta, became the princely land of prince Bogusław V. King Casimir the Great extended the town rights of Wałcz. In 1378, the city burned to the ground. In 1409, the city was burnt down by the Teutonic Knights, only the castle survived. In the period of the First Republic of Poland, Wałcz belonged to the voivodeship Poznań and was the seat of the castle starosty. In 1618, the Jesuit order was brought to Wałcz, and they established a high-quality school here. In 1655 Wałcz was occupied by the Swedes and they destroyed it. In the 17th century, during the Reformation, the city retained its Catholic character.
As a result of the First Partition of Poland in 1772, the city was seized by Royal Prussia and Germanization began, which lasted until 1945. The monastery of the Jesuit Fathers and the school of the Jesuit Order were closed. The school established in the building of the post-Jesuit school became the center of Polishness. In the 19th century, Wałcz became an industrial center. There were several sawmills, an iron foundry, a machinery and furniture factory, a printing house, lime kilns, a brewery, a brick factory and many craft workshops. The Treaty of Versailles (1918-1919) left Wałcz in the German Reich, which was previously called the Kingdom of Prussia. Just like the nearby town of Piła. Shortly before the Second World War, Wałcz was included in the system of German fortifications called "Pomeranian Wall", the construction of which lasted in the period 1936 - 1938 and was not completed. "Wał Pomorski" was built to defend against Poland. In Prussian times, the full name of the city of Wałcz was as follows - "Deutsch Krone", and translated "German Crown".
After the Second World War, the greats of this world decided to join the Wałcz Land as the "Recovered Territories" to Poland. The German population fled from the front of Russian troops, fearing rape and murder, as early as January and February 1945. The rest of the German population was displaced to Germany after the war. After 173 years, Wałcz returned to Poland. Polish people came to the city, inter alia, from the Polish Borderlands, occupied by the CCCP. In May 1945, the Polish Post Office was opened. Two hospitals, a bank, a cinema and a theater were established in Wałcz. In Wałcz, there are plants producing: bicycle and car parts, concentrated drinks and juices, biological preparations for agriculture and forestry. There are large grain plants. In the times of the People's Republic of Poland, the Polish Army was a large employer in Wałcz.
In Wałcz there is the Museum of the Wałcz Region and the Museum of the Pomeranian Wall. There is a large professional sports center in Wałcz where athletes, rowers and canoeists train. There is a famous walking bridge in Wałcz, intended only for pedestrians. The bridge is 85 m long and hangs over the narrowing of Lake Raduń. The hanging bridge was built in 1978 and replaced the wooden walking bridge Kłosowski (Klozowbrücke) built in 1891, placed on wooden stilts. In 1920, the Prussians rebuilt the bridge in its part, so that two steam ships carrying tourists, which the city bought at that time, could pass under it.
Polish Army in Wałcz.
The 5th Communication Regiment was formed in Wałcz in 1949, on the basis of the 1st Independent Communication Battalion of the Ministry of National Defense (1945-1949). In 1967, the regiment was transformed into the 1st Communication Regiment. The reason for the transformations was the development of means of communication used on the battlefield. In 1976, for the purposes of the Warsaw Pact, the regiment was developed to the brigade level and was called the 2nd Communications Brigade. 2. Brigade of Communications them. Gen. Władysław Korczyc. The brigade included: 64th WSD battalion (Forward Command Post) and 95th KSD battalion (Quartermaster Command Post). The main operational task of the brigade, together with the 15th Radio and Cable Brigade in Sieradz, was to secure the communication system of the Northern Front command posts operating under the United Armed Forces of the Warsaw Pact by building field communication nodes at the main, forward and backup front command posts. The construction of the command posts themselves was carried out by the 2nd Security Regiment. After the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the brigade acted solely for the benefit of the Polish Army. The 2nd Communications Brigade functioned in Wałcz until 2001, as JW 2016.
100th Communications Battalion.
The 100th Communications Battalion was formed in Wałcz in April 2000 as a NATO military unit. Already in November 2000, the battalion participated in the Crystal Eagle 2000 exercises, and then the operational capability of the Allied Commander-in-Chief was announced. V. Washington Treaty. In 2007, the unit was reorganized into a new job. The number of the military unit was also changed from JW 3288 to JW 4092.
49th Warsaw Mechanized Regiment.
The 49th Warsaw Mechanized Regiment was a mechanized unit of the Armed Forces of the Polish People's Republic, which was established on March 15, 1945. The first commander was Colonel Robert Satanowski. The regiment numbered 6,000 soldiers and was prepared to participate in the Second World War, but on In November 1945, the regiment went into operation in a peaceful manner and the number of soldiers was reduced to 2,500 soldiers. The regiment was created as a result of the transformation of the 49th Infantry Regiment. He was located in Wałcz. Organizationally, the regiment was part of the 14th Infantry Division. In May 1949, the regiment was transferred to Wałcz, which became the unit's final stationing location. At that time, tanks, anti-aircraft cannons and other combat vehicles began to be put into service with the regiment. The commanders at that time were the Russians. In 1957, the 14th Infantry Division was dissolved, and all units included in it were incorporated into the 20th Warsaw Armored Division. march. Konstanty Rokossowski, who was stationed in Szczecinek. The 49th Infantry Regiment was reorganized and renamed the 49th Mechanized Regiment. Then (1957) the Polish commander became the commander of the regiment. In 1967, the 49th Mechanized Regiment, by order of the Minister of National Defense, was renamed the 49th Warsaw Mechanized Regiment, which existed until 1989. In 1989, the 20th Armored Division from Szczecinek was restructured. It took the number and traditions of the 2nd Warsaw Infantry Division and the 2nd Warsaw Mechanized Division, which meant that units subordinate to the 20th Armored Division also adopted the numbers and traditions of the 2nd Division. The 49th Mechanized Regiment was renamed the 6th Mechanized Regiment, stationed in Częstochowa so far. The 6th Mechanized Regiment existed until 1995, when it was restructured again and transformed into the 2nd Mechanized Brigade of the Legions. Marshal Józef Piłsudski. In the 90s, the unit operated in two places: Wałcz and Czarne. At the end of 1997, the 2nd Pomeranian Mechanized Division ceased to exist and the 2nd Mechanized Brigade was incorporated into the 8th Baltic Coastal Defense Division. In 2001, the 2nd Mechanized Brigade was transferred to the barracks in Budowo near Złocieniec and, as an independent unit, was subordinated to the 1st Mechanized Corps in Bydgoszcz. In March 2004, the brigade became part of the 12th Szczecin Mechanized Division. The 2nd Mechanized Brigade of the Legions has been in operation until now (2021, Military Unit 1696) and participated in foreign missions. Currently (2021) brigade soldiers as part of the Polish Military Contingent are in Iraq. The main armament of the brigade are: BWP-1 infantry fighting vehicles, T-72 M1 tanks, 2S1 Goździk self-propelled howitzers, and BRDM-2 armored reconnaissance vehicles.
49th Independent Observation and Registration Battalion.
The 49th Independent Observation and Registration Battalion (49 sbomel) was an observation and registration battalion of the Polish Army. The battalion functioned in the period 1950-1952 in Wałcz. The battalion was subordinate to the regiment in Bydgoszcz. The battalion had three observation and reporting companies in Puck, Koszalin and Szczecin, and they formed a line of 45 posts, covering a 600 km section along the sea border and the north-west land part. After reorganization, the unit was transferred to Słupsk.
1 Regional Logistics Base.
1 Regional Logistics Base was established on January 1, 2011 as JW 4224. Address Wałcz, Ciasna 7, 78-600 Wałcz. The unit was formed on the basis of the order of the Chief of the Armed Forces Support Inspectorate No. Pf-83 / Org. of August 5, 2010. The unit works for the Pomeranian Military District and the Navy.
107 Military Hospital.
107 Military Hospital with an Outpatient Clinic - Independent Public Healthcare Center in Wałcz. Address Wałcz, 44 Kołobrzeska Street. The hospital was established in May 1953. The decision to establish a Military Hospital in Wałcz was made mainly to provide medical support to the soldiers and their families stationed here. The first two departments were opened: surgical and internal medicine. Currently (2021), the hospital has twelve hospital departments, twenty specialist clinics, a GP surgery and full diagnostic facilities. Since 1999, as a result of the health reform, the hospital has also been made available to civilians.
Railway in Wałcz.
Wałcz obtained a railway connection in the so-called third order. First, there was the Szczecin - Krzyż Wielkopolski - Piła - Bydgoszcz route, with the departure in Krzyż Wielkopolski to Poznań. Secondly, the Stargard Szczeciński - Złocieniec - Szczecinek - Chojnice trail.
In 1881, a railway line led to Wałcz from Piła, i.e. from the south-east direction. In 1948, this route was No. 345, then No. 365, and now No. 403. In 1888, the line from Wałcz was extended to the west to Kalisz Pomorskie. The entire route to Ulików was completed in 1895. In 1898, Wałcz was connected with Wierzchowo Pomorskie and further with Złocieniec, to the north. In 1904, Wałcz was connected with the village of Człopa and further with Krzyż Wielkopolski, in the south-west direction. In 1914, the Wałcz - Złotów route was built to the east.
The history of railroads in Wałcz was bad. In 1945, Russian soldiers dismantled the Wałcz - Złotów route and took its elements to Moscow as a war trophy. During the times of the People's Republic of Poland, the remaining routes were kept in good condition. In the 90s, the suspension of courses on many rail routes in Poland began. Especially on local lines. Thus, the connections between Wałcz and Krzyż were interrupted (route No. 341, and then No. 362). A fragment of Wałcz - Człopa was dismantled in 2007. Then, trains on the Wałcz Raduń - Wierzchowo Pomorskie route (No. 342, then No. 363) were suspended. The trail was impassable since 2000, and it was dismantled in 2016.
As early as 1971, a long-distance train from Warsaw to Szczecin traveled through Wałcz, through Toruń, Bydgoszcz, Piła, Wałcz, and Kalisz Pomorski. The train was operated by steam traction. Due to the switch to electric traction, the train was liquidated and in 1972 it did not appear in the timetable.
In 2000, as a result of huge cuts in railway connections, Wałcz lost all passenger trains. In 2000, the railway line from Piła to Ulików along its entire length was closed. Then, in the period 2001–2007, connections were renewed and suspended. However, only on the sections Wałcz - Piła and Ulikowo - Kalisz Pomorski.
For 5 years, no passenger trains came to Wałcz. In 2012, the Zachodniopomorskie and Wielkopolskie voivodeships reached an agreement and a regional important railway connection Piła (Wielkopolskie voivodship) - Wałcz (Zachodniopomorskie voivodship) was launched. Local governments bought diesel trains type SA103 and SA136. In the following years, the self-government of the Greater Poland Voivodeship bought new SA139 (Pesa Link) trains, including for the Piła - Wałcz route. The self-government of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship did a similar thing. Initially, the trains ran with frequent changes to the timetable. Attempts were made to establish the popularity of the combination and the needs. It turned out that the number of passengers was systematically increasing. The more so as a bus ride on a similar route is more expensive than a train ticket.
PLN 20 million was spent on the renovation of the Piła Północna - Ulikowo line (No. 403). The investment was implemented in the period 2010-2012, as part of the ROP of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship for the years 2007 - 2013. The money was spent by PLK and the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. Many kilometers of rails, sleepers and track bed were replaced. Railroad crossings were modernized. A modified traffic control system was introduced. Some platforms and technical facilities of railway stations have been improved. The trail is adapted to a traveling speed of 100 km / h. As a result, Wałcz reconnected with Szczecin.
Long-distance trains have returned to Wałcz. The first was the TLK "Lubomirski" train from Szczecin to Przemyśl. This train was launched in 2013 as a holiday connection. It was an extended route of the Przemyśl - Bydgoszcz train, which was called TLK Flisak. In the section Piła - Szczecin Główny, the train consisted of a diesel locomotive SM42 and two passenger carriages. After a few years, the train was liquidated, and the name was taken over by the Kraków - Gdynia TLK 35104 "Lubomirski" train.
In 2016, a new train 28100 "Staszic" from Lublin to Szczecin appeared in Wałcz. On the Lublin - Piła section, the train is hauled by the EU160 electric locomotive, and on the Piła - Wałcz - Szczecin section by the SU42-10xx diesel locomotive. In 2021, the train sometimes arrives with the Czech locomotive type 754 "Nurek". From Wałcz to Szczecin, the ticket for this train costs 40 zlotys. The PolRegio train on the Wałcz - Szczecin route offers tickets for PLN 31.30. On the route Wałcz - Warsaw, 400 km long, a ticket for the TLK Staszic train costs 66 zlotys. The TLK Staszic train is one of the longest connections in Poland, 735 km, and the ticket costs 83 zlotys.
Currently (2021), the following trains run through Wałcz: Lublin Główny - Szczecin Główny, Piła Główna - Stargard, Ulikowo - Piła Główna, Piła Główna - Szczecin Główny.
The development of railways in Wałcz is difficult. Big business, modern factories or higher education rather avoid Wałcz. Let us have faith, however, that after years of liquidation of the railway, the past looks good. A gradual increase in the number of passengers can be observed. For sure, the inhabitants of Wałcz lack a good timetable for happiness.
And one more thing. Converting former tracks into bicycle paths is not a good solution. It is definitely cheaper than maintaining the railroads. The slogan that the network of railway lines in Pomerania is too dense in relation to the needs is a misunderstanding and a short-sighted view. As a result, it prevents the return of trains to some places in Pomerania.
Wałcz Railway Station.
The first train entered the station in Wałcz on November 1, 1881. The railway station in Wałcz was built in 1883, two years after the railway line had been connected from Piła. In the building there were passenger and luggage cash desks, a waiting room, a restaurant, rooms for railway services, and the attic was arranged for apartments for railroad workers. Another apartment building was built nearby for the railroad families. The station building on both fronts is equipped with large clocks. The toilets are located in a separate building. That's how it was built then. Due to the slope of the terrain in front of the station, wide stairs were built, and the leveled square was paved.
Wałcz station received three platforms. 1 Single-edge platform next to the station building. 2 A basic, two-edge island platform, 215 m long. 3 A two-edge island platform, 100 m long.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a locomotive with a turntable and a railway water tower were built. Until now, the station has used the city's water tower. The water tower was built in the southern part of the station as a four-sided building covered with a four-sided roof with red tiles. More residential buildings were built. Railway warehouses were significantly expanded and equipped with loading ramps on the side of the tracks and on the side of the street.
In 1914, the station level had all the tracks that exist until now. A railway control room was built in the southern head of the station. Due to the greater number of passengers, the restaurant was expanded and a few additional street buffets were built. For some time, there was a railway health clinic, a post office and a militia / gendarmerie station at the station. The last extension of the station was carried out in 30 years. The main building was lined with red brick, the edges with light stone and plastering architectural details. In general, the building has improved in beauty, and after many years it has been included in the list of historical monuments.
After 1945, the changes at the Wałcz station mainly involved the modernization of traffic control systems and telephone and railway communication systems. The tracks were kept in a good technical condition. Worn rails and railway sleepers were replaced on the routes. Concrete sleepers were often installed.
Since 2000, the station building has been abandoned. A furniture commission shop operated in it for a while. There were no more residents in the building. For several years, PKP has been trying to get rid of its unwanted property, i.e. the station building. The city is likely to take over the building free of charge. It is planned to house the Wałcz Land Museum, a library and a municipal guard station there. However, the case is dragging on, which increases the costs of future renovation, because vandals do not spare the monument.
There are railway crossings on both sides of the station level. South along South Street, and in the north along Wojska Polskiego Street (national road No. 22). Due to the low railway traffic, the construction of viaducts or tunnels is not planned. Shaped semaphores are still used at the Wałcz station. The station has two control stations: the southern "Wa" and the northern "Wa1". There will also be rail crossings.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman