Rail transport in Poland

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Polish Railway Lines
PKP1952-53.jpg
Railway network in 1952
ED59-08063007.jpg
A ED59-01 train in Skierniewice
Dates of operation 22 May 1842–present
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 3 kV DC Overhead line
Length 19,599 km (12,178.3 mi)
Intercity- and Eurocity- connections in Poland
Electrified railway line in Poland
New PKP Intercity Siemens EuroSprinter approaching Berlin

The Polish railways network consists of around 19,599 kilometres (12,178 mi) of track as of 2008, of which the vast majority is electrified at 3 kV DC overhead.

Poland is a member of the International Union of Railways (UIC): its UIC Country Code is 51.

Overview[edit]

The network is generally electrified, and the vast majority was built before World War II by different rail companies when territory was part of other countries, including the Deutsche Reichsbahn and Russian Imperial State Railways or by the Communist authorities from 1946 onwards. Due to the average age of the network and lack of maintenance, many sections are limited to speeds below 100 km/h (62 mph) even on trunk lines. There are no high-speed lines and some 500 km (310 mi) allow 160 km/h (99 mph), most notably the Central Trunk Line (CMK), which links Warsaw to Katowice and Kraków, with some sections on an alignment that would permit 200 km/h (120 mph) but not operated at that speed.

In 2008, the government announced the construction of a dedicated high speed line based on the French TGV model and possibly using TGV style trainsets, by 2020. The Y-shaped line would link Warsaw to Łódź, Poznań and Wrocław at speeds of up to 320 km/h (200 mph). This includes an upgrade of Central Trunk Line to 250 km/h (160 mph) (or more) as this line has an LGV-like profile. In December 2011 plans to build the high speed line were postponed until 2030.[1]

Polskie Koleje Państwowe (PKP), a state-owned corporate group, is the main provider of railway services, holding an almost complete monopoly in rail services as it is both supported and partly funded by the government.

  • There are three main PKP companies:
    • PKP PLK - owns and maintains infrastructure including lines and stations.
    • PKP Intercity - provides long-distance connections on the most popular routes. Trains are divided into the categories: EuroNight, EuroCity, Express InterCity (generally faster and more expensive) and TLK (interregional fast trains, slower than EN/EC/EIC but cheaper) and international fast trains.
    • PKP Cargo provides cargo rail transport.

As of 2008, foreign services include EuroCity and EuroNight trains between Western and Eastern Europe, most notably the EN Jan Kiepura direct sleeping cars between Russia and Amsterdam, Basel and Munich via Warsaw, Poznan and Germany. They generally consist of coaches from different rail operators that are added to the train as it passes through their area of operation.

Links with adjacent countries[edit]

Broad-gauge railways[edit]

LHS links southern Poland with broad gauge railways in Ukraine and other eastern countries

The network is standard gauge except for the Broad Gauge Metallurgy Line (known by its Polish abbreviation LHS) and a few short stretches near border crossings. The LHS to Sławków is the longest line, single track for almost 400 km from the Ukrainian border just east of Hrubieszów. It is the westernmost broad gauge line connected to the system of the former Soviet Union.

Narrow gauge railways[edit]

Non-PKP services[edit]

A Koleje Mazowieckie train approaching a station

Rapid transit[edit]

This includes:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]