„At that time, both mezzanines in the main hall went through an overhaul. The northern one was accommodated for a club, while the southern one was accommodated for offices. The hall's western part underwent modernisation, creating glass kiosks with flowers, souvenirs and press. An important element, serving to raise the aesthetic quality of the hall's interior, was laminated wood paneling, protecting the walls from dirt. Exits to the platforms were changed, cash registries for ticket reservations and suburban rail were carried over to the southern pavilion, a separate booth for travelling information was created. The station received a whole new system of lighting.
Also, new passages to the platforms were created through liquidating the ticket booths.
An important aspect of the 1964-1965 overhaul was the decoration of the main hall” (E. Leszczyńska, "Zabudowa Stacji Towarowej Kolei Warszawsko-Wiedeńskiej oraz Tymczasowy Dworzec Główny - rys historyczny", Warsaw, p. 5). Over the northern entrance, colorful photograms were placed, presenting a panoramic view of Warsaw.
Over the southern entrance a socialist realist fresco was placed. It represented various forms of transport: trains, planes, ships, and people working on them – railway workers, pilots, and sailors.
The station at Towarowa was designed as a temporary station, yet it operated as a Main Railway Station for over 40 years, and has become a memorable place for the citizens of Warsaw. It has been a symbol for Warsaw, with its unforgettable „WARSZAWA GŁÓWNA” neon over the city landscape. The station's dining hall played a great role in the everyday life of the citizens.
It was the only dining hall – besides „ the Zieleniak” operating 24/7, at the time when the capital's only night restaurant was „the Kameralna”. A sort of a direct line functioned between the station and the Kameralna. When the latter closed for the night and its last clients had to leave, horse and taxi cabs carried them directly to the Main Station, where they could continue their socialising.
Around 5 am, at the station, one could meet quite a number of artistic celebrities of the time.
A citizen of Warsaw, asked about memories concerning the Main Railway Station, relates:
„The bar at the Main Station, was it a legendary place! Worked around the clock! A lot of parties ended right here, at the station. One could order a beer if thirsty, and some fried meat, if hungry.
It was a place to wait through the night for those who missed their trains. Then, at the station bar, they could order a soup and some meat and wait for the first train home in the morning.
You could meet a whole mix of faces there – well known celebrities as well as the more nasty types.”
The Main Railway Station appears in the work of some of the best Polish writers – among them Leopold Tyrmand, Tadeusz Konwicki, Marek Nowakowski. The station is also mentioned in songs, among them „Niedziela na Głównym” („Sunday at the Main”) by Wojciech Młynarski.
Relaxing the best way- Sunday at the Main
The work leaves you drained – Sunday at the Main
When things get too hard and all friends are away – you can always spend the Sunday at the Main! (original text by W. Młynarski)
Construction of the Central Railway Station started in 1972. At the same time, decision was made about the reopening of Railway Museum in Warsaw and locating it in the buildings of Main Station at Towarowa, whose activity at the time was at a decline.
Fragment of a photogram over the main hall's northern entrance, 2010, photo: M. Brzomiński