Sunday, July 10, 2011

P'yatikhatki Railway Station

I am going to two conferences in Kazakhstan the last week in July.  I need to drop my visa application off at the Kazakhstan consulate early next week so I can pick up my visa the following week.Yesterday we set out to buy tickets for me to go to Kyiv Monday night, return Tuesday evening.  One of those 24 hour round trips I dread. It being Saturday the ticket office here in Zhovti Vody was closed so we made a flying trip to P'yatikhatki.as the railway station is open 24/7. Good thing we did as the trains are full in summer with people traveling on holidays.

For whatever reason, I had my camera along so got some good pictures of the rail yard.  P'yatikhatki is a railway town, with many rail lines meeting there and much switching of cars, engines and crews.  There are about 24 tracks at the main station in town and I don't know how many at the sub-station "P'yatikhatki-Stikova" 5 km west of town. I'm never there except at night.

The main station (and ticket office) is not user friendly, it having been designed and built during previous times when customer service was not a priority, shall we say.  Up 50 steps to a 75 meter long catwalk, down 50 steps, then 250 meters to the far end of the platform. Tough on an old fat man. Just glad I am not in a  wheelchair.

The catwalk joins the two sides of town which is split by the rail yard
It is a long way up if you are lugging suitcases.  Or are old and fat. Or both
Looking east towards Dnipropetrovs'k

Looking west from the same spot

The station and ticket office is at the far end of the platform

Looking east, you can see how far the passenger platforms run
 Most of the trains only stop for two minutes so you need to know your car number and roughly where it will be on the platform so you can be right close when the train stops.
There are five tracks dedicated to passenger trains, the rest of the tracks are for freight trains

The night train to Kyiv comes in on the right hand of the two tracks and loads from the narrow platform
Another train comes in a few minutes before on the left hand track. Since you have to cross the tracks to get to the second platform, you better have it done BEFORE the first train gets in or you aren't going to get there.

6 comments:

  1. Ugh! Why does everything have to be so difficult? Sigh.

    You have my extreme sympathy.

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  2. Neat pictures. I love trains. In San Francisco sometimes I would just ride the BART around in order to get de-stressed. Same idea as a train.

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  3. I wish we made better use of public transportation in Canada. There are so many rail lines that have been abandoned, and could be reused, though I suspect it is too late for that in most cases.

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  4. I see all the wires running above the tracks. I assume the counterweights in the towers are to maintain tension on the cables. I looked at Wikipedia and it says Ukraine has 44% of the railroads electrified with overhead wires.

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  5. They do make good use of electric trains. The night train I take to Kyiv is diesel-electric but the express train home is electric. They also make good use of electric trolley buses in the larger centres.
    Disadvantage - When there was a giant demonstration against Kuchma (president, not cat) back in 2002 (?) and people were pouring into Kyiv from all parts of Ukraine, they simply turned the power off to the railways and stopped the trains. Central power grids give governments huge control over the population in any country.

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  6. wow...we are so spoiled....that would be quite the trip!

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