[rescue] Things I'd like to find good homes for...

Maciej W. Rozycki macro at linux-mips.org
Mon Oct 12 14:20:02 CDT 2020

On Fri, 4 Sep 2020, Liam Proven wrote:

> >  None of that matters; in fact before WWI, which is when most of the
> > railway development happened in the area in question, the parts of Poland
> > Czechia now borders with were a part of either the Austro-Hungarian empire
> > or Prussia, and were extremely well interconnected.
> >
> >  Most of the railway connections going across the newly-established
> > border, and there were dozens if you include those between Slovakia and
> > Poland as well, were severed though right after WWII, with some actually
> > being dismantled right away by the Soviet army (essentially robbed for
> > steel and other metals, especially copper from electrified lines; tracks
> > of many lines across current Poland were lifted by Soviets who considered
> > them war booty, and never rebuilt).
> >
> >  During Stalinism there was no room for general cross-border travel, even
> > within the Soviet bloc, so especially local connections, even where tracks
> > survived the war (like the Harrachov-Szklarska Poreba connection, recently
> > restored) were left unused and were often gradually dismantled.  A couple
> > of more important links remained, in particular where they were used for
> > freight.
> Fascinating. DziDnkuje bardzo!

 You are welcome! :)

 I have got at the figures now:

1. Between 1944 and 1948 the Soviets dismantled ~1500km/930mi of railways 
   over the current territory of Poland.

2. Between 1990 and 2019 the length of the railway network in Poland was 
   reduced from ~26200km/16280mi down to 18500km/11500mi.

There were some closures between 1948 and 1990, but not as serious.  Also 
a stretch of ~620km/385mi was newly built in 1970s, to support the heavy 
industry and the transport of goods to the USSR.

 For the record the source I have used is (in Polish): Karol Trammer, 
"Ostre ciDcie. Jak niszczono polskD kolej" (i.e. "Sharp Cut. How Polish 
Railway Has Been Being Ruined"), ISBN: 978-83-66232-33-4.  An e-book form 
is also available (which you can then pass through a translator I suppose 
unless you fancy learning Polish, which I highly recommend anyway).  The 
figures quoted in #1 and #2 above are on pages 35 and 11 of said book 

> >  And last but not least I don't think the stereotypical choice of drinking
> > liquids actually affects railways, and Polish people usually like Czechs
> > for various reasons, starting from their great sense of humour presented
> > in many movies.
> :-D Well no. I suspect perhaps religiosity might be more relevant --
> and still not very, at that...

 I think indeed there has been a correlation here, and the underlying 
reason and the source of the current problems (of many kinds) in Poland 
has been that the nation has not properly been through the Reformation.  
Though the recent turn of events seems to indicate that a Neo-Reformation 
might be close, which gives some hope.

 For those more interested in matters around Poland I can highly recommend 
studying the country's history as pictured in Norman Davies's "God's 
Playground", coincidentally (and fortunately for some) available in 
English, ;) in several editions.


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