22 years ago, on this day, the Metro Centrum was inaugurated.

The Metro Centrum was inaugurated on May 26th, 1998, then the metro was 12.5 km long with 12 stations. 3 years earlier, on April 7th, 1995 at 12:21 was inaugurated the Metro of Warsaw at Wilanowksa Station.

The Warsaw Metro comes from very far. Everything started in 1918 when Warsaw regained its statue as Poland’s capital city. The first work was made by the Warsaw Tramway Authority.
The tramway is well-developed in Warsaw with more than 60 km but the metro was a necessity because of the density of the city. Unfortunately, the Great Depression buried the project.
In 1934, with the newly elected President of Warsaw Stefan Starzyński, the 20s plan was reuse and with minor adjustments, the first two projects metro lines were scheduled for the mid-1940s.
The Metro I (North/South line) with 7.4 km started from the North of Żoliborz and finishing at the South of Mokotów.
The Metro II (East/West) with 6.36 km was to start in the west part of Wola, to Chłodna street to the Park Saski and then further eastwards to the Vistula river escarpment. A bridge was to be built and finish at the easternmost railway station of Warszawa Wschodnia.
The master plan was the construction of 7 metro lines for 35 years of works. The works started in 1938 but WWII destroyed all the plans…
There is still remains of one of the tunnels made in 1938 is now a wine cellar.
Despite almost the total destruction of Warsaw the major part of the engineers behind the construction of the metro survived. In the 1950s Soviet strategic plans required a secure transport link across the Vistula. One of the projects was to build a deep metro system in Warsaw (up to 46 m underground metro) interlinked with the rail network and could serve as underground tunnels for transporting troops. The Metro I was to be 11 km with a (North/South line).
The works started in 1953 in 17 different parts of Warsaw but after the death of Stalin, the works stopped. Some parts continued slowly but everything stopped in 1957.
In 1955, the engineers came back to the former plan (1934) and in 1984 the plan was approved by the government and the first tunnel was built. But for years lack of funds, technical difficulties and very outdated material postponed perpetually the opening of the Metro. But on April 7th, 1995 the 11 stations of the Metro I were inaugurated from Kabaty to Politechnika.

Świętokrzyska and Ratusz Arsenał were inaugurated on May 11th, 2001, Dworzec Gdański on December 12th, 2003, Plac Wilsona on April 8th, 2005, Marymont on December 29th, 2006, Słodowiec on April 23, 2008, and finally Stare Bielany, Wawrzyszew, and Młociny on October 25th, 2008.

Photo: metro.waw.pl

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