RAILDATE 2023.12.15

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The Weekly Poser: Where is this?

We see a 4-car DMU in the mid-1960 at the terminus of a closed branch line. A substantial hotel is in the background. Where is it?

Last week's Where is this?

This 1938 map records a German city with an extensive local rail network. It is centred on islands in a major river, but a flood relief channel had been built to the north. Where is it?

Answer: Wrocław, Poland, formerly Breslau, Germany. Congratulations are due to the following for their correct answers: Dave Goodyear, Andrew Treves, Richard Maund, Richard Fleming, Jeremy Harrison, Colin Penfold, Gérard van Teeffelen, Paul Hopper, Andy Foster.

Perhaps a trick question, because this "German" city had its population removed in 1945 and replaced by Poles being relocated from what is now western Ukraine and Belarus. The central area of Breslau and a current map of Wrocław are below:

I spent a few days in Wrocław in 2017. The city was besieged by the Soviet Red Army in 1945 and much was destroyed. It was transferred to Poland and a systematic effort was made to remove all German traces. Bullet holes still abound, and the remaining authentic pre-War apartment buildings are often used for filming. Whole blocks remain unbuilt, but a booming economy and Poles returning from the UK mean you can now buy a Costa coffee ...

The Germans were inspired by Letchworth Garden City to build their own version in the 1930s - circled in blue.

The terminus station Dworzec Świebodzki (circled in red) had already closed. A couple of photos show the de-electrified approach and a static steam loco display. The buildings have since been repurposed as a Museum of Computers and Games and a theatre, but the land remains undeveloped.


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©  Matthew Shaw 2023