Open Access Articles- Top Results for Transport in Poland

Transport in Poland

Transport in Poland involves air traffic, waterways, roads and railroads.

As a country located at the 'cross-roads' of Europe, Poland, with its highly developed economy, is a nation with a large and increasingly modern network of transport infrastructure.

The country's most important waterway is the river Vistula. The largest seaports are the Port of Szczecin and Port of Gdańsk. Air travel is generally used for international travel, with many flights originating at Warsaw Chopin Airport. Railways connect all of Poland's major cities and the state-owned Polish State Railways (PKP) corporation, through its subsidiaries, runs a great number of domestic and international services of varying speed and comfort. In addition to this, five out of sixteen Polish voivodeships have their own provincial rail service providers. Many major Polish cities have rapid transit systems (typically tram networks) and public transport is available in nearly all areas throughout the country.


Map of planned motorway and expressway network in Poland.

Polish public roads are grouped into categories related to administrative division. Poland has Script error: No such module "convert". of public roads, of which Script error: No such module "convert". are unsurfaced (2011):[1]

  • National roads (Classes A, S, GP and exceptionally G): Script error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". unsurfaced
  • Voivodeship roads (Classes G, Z and exceptionally GP): Script error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". unsurfaced
  • Powiat roads (Classes G, Z and exceptionally L): Script error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". unsurfaced
  • Gmina roads (Classes L, D and exceptionally Z): Script error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert". unsurfaced

According to national roads state report by GDDKiA in 2008 1/4 of national roads were capable of handling 11.5 tonnes per axle loads.[2]

In recent years, the network has been improving and government spending on road construction recently saw a huge increase, due to rapid development of the country and the inflow of European Union funds for infrastructure projects.[3]

Motorways and expressways

Main article: Highways in Poland

Polish motorways and expressways are part of national roads network. As of December 2012, there are Script error: No such module "convert". of motorways[4] (autostrady, singular - autostrada) and Script error: No such module "convert". of expressways[4] (drogi ekspresowe, singular - droga ekspresowa).

Motorways in Poland, Script error: No such module "convert". (2012):

A1 | A2 | A4 | A6 | A8 | A18

Expressways in Poland, Script error: No such module "convert". (2012):

S1 | S2 | S3 | S5 | S6 | S7 | S8 | S10 | S11 | S12 | S14 | S17 | S19 | S22 | S51 | S61 | S69 | S74 | S79 | S86

Air transport

File:Poland airports 2014.svg
Location of main airports in Poland, with number of passengers served in 2014

The most important airport in Poland is Warsaw 'Frederic Chopin' International Airport. Warsaw's airport is the main international hub for LOT Polish Airlines.

In addition to Warsaw Chopin, Wrocław, Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków and Poznań all have international airports.

In preparation for the Euro 2012 football championships jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine, a number of airports around the country were renovated and redeveloped. This included the building of new terminals with an increased number of jetways and stands at both Copernicus Airport in Wrocław and Lech Wałęsa Airport in Gdańsk.


The Polish airline market was until 2004 a closed market, with bilateral agreements between countries served from the national hub – Warsaw. The regional airports were mostly serving as spokes, and were controlled by PPL, the state-owned airport authority. However, in the 1990s it was decided to deregulate the airport market and abolish the dominant position of PPL. Nearly all local airports (apart from Zielona Góra airport) became separate companies, with local governments involved in their management, which led to the partial decentralisation. Soon after opening of Polish sky for competition, flights “avoiding” the Warsaw hub became more common.

There are twelve passenger airports in operation, and there is also an airport Heringsdorf in German village Garz, 7 kilometers from Polish seaside spa Świnoujście.

International airports

List of airports in Poland The following are the largest airports in Poland (In descending order for 2013):


Airports with paved runways: Total: 84 (2005)

  • over 3,047 m: 4
  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 29
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 41
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 7
  • under 914 m: 3

Airports – with unpaved runways: Total: 39 (2005)

  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 13
  • under 914 m: 21

Heliports: 2 (2005)


File:MF Skania 1.jpg
Ferries of Polish company Unity Line at the Port of Świnoujście
File:Gdynia kamienna marina.jpg
Gdynia's main municipal marina

Marine transport in Poland has two main sub-groups, riverine and seaborne. On the Baltic Sea coast, a number of large seaports exist to serve the international freight and passenger trade; these are typically deep water ports and are able to serve very large ships, including the ro-ro ferries of Unity Line, Polferries and Stena Line which operate the PolandScandinavia passenger lines.

Riverine services operate on almost all major Polish rivers and canals (such as the Danube–Oder and Elbląg canals) as well as on domestic coastal routes.


Poland has Script error: No such module "convert". of navigable rivers and canals (as of 2009).

Ports and harbors

Merchant marine

Main article: Polish Merchant Navy

Total: 57 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,120,165 GRT/1,799,569 tonnes deadweight (DWT)

Ships by type: bulk 50, cargo 2, chemical tanker 2, roll-on/roll-off 1, short-sea passenger 2 (1999 est.)


File:Poland rail map.svg
Railways in Poland
File:Gdańsk Główny, Blick von Marienkirche.jpg
Gdańsk Main Station, one of Poland's most important railway terminals
File:Bwe loco change rzepin.jpg
A Polish locomotive takes over haulage duty from a Deutsche Bahn unit at Rzepin on a Berlin-Warsaw Express train
An electric multiple unit push - pull of Koleje Mazowieckie

Poland is served by an extensive network of railways. In most cities the main railway station is located near a city centre and is well connected to the local transportation system. The infrastructure is operated by PKP PLK ( PKP-Polskie Linie Kolejowe : PKP-Polish Rail Lines), part of state-run PKP Group. The rail network is very dense in western and northern Poland, while eastern part of the country is less developed.

The only high-speed rail line (though by most definitions, real high-speed rail only includes speeds over 200 km/h) in central-eastern Europe is the Central Rail Line (Poland), Centralna Magistrala Kolejowa (CMK). It has a length of Script error: No such module "convert"., and was built in 1971–1977; it links Warsaw with Kraków and Katowice. Most trains on the CMK operate at speeds up to Script error: No such module "convert"., but since December 2014 new Alstom Pendolino ED250 trains operate on a 90 km section of the CMK at Script error: No such module "convert"., and improvements under way should raise the authorized speed to Script error: No such module "convert". on most of the line. In test runs on the CMK in November 2013 a new Pendolino ED250 train set a new Polish speed record of Script error: No such module "convert"..[5]

Other high-speed lines:

  • The Warsaw-Gdańsk-Gdynia railway route is undergoing a major upgrading costing $3 billion, partly funded by the European Investment Bank, including track replacement, realignment of curves and relocation of sections of track to allow speeds up to Script error: No such module "convert"., modernization of stations, and installation of the most modern ETCS signalling system, which is to be completed in June 2015. In December 2014 new Alstom Pendolino ED250 high-speed trains were put into service between Gdańsk, Warsaw and Kraków reducing the rail travel time from Gdańsk to Warsaw to 2 hours 58 minutes,[6][7] to be reduced in late 2015 to 2 hours 37 minutes.[8]

Projects The Warsaw–Łódź line is being upgraded to allow speed up to 160 km/h (in order to bind together the Warsaw–Łódź agglomeration).

Plans were made to construct a new high-speed line (350 km/h) from Warsaw to Poznań and Wrocław with forks in Łódź and Kalisz.,[9] but the project was cancelled in November 2011 due to its high cost.[10]

The PKP Group is the fourth largest railway throughout Europe. Trains are run by its different subsidiaries.

Passenger transport market

The following companies operate in Poland:

Narrow gauge railways

There are hundreds of kilometres of 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in), 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in), 785 mm (2 ft 6 2932 in), and 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) narrow gauge lines in Poland. These railways are mostly in decline, some surviva as a museum or tourist railways.

Freight transport market

Broad gauge railways

File:Mapa LHS.png
LHS links southern Poland with broad gauge railways in Ukraine and other eastern countries

Except for Linia Hutnicza Szerokotorowa, and a few very short stretches near border crossings, Poland uses the standard gauge for its railways. Therefore Linia Hutnicza Szerokotorowa (known by its acronym LHS, English: Broad gauge steelworks line) in Sławków is the longest broad gauge railway line in Poland. The line runs on a single track for almost Script error: No such module "convert". from the Polish-Ukrainian border, crossing it just east of Hrubieszów. It is the westernmost broad gauge railway line in Europe that is connected to the broad gauge rail system of the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Rail system

Total: Script error: No such module "convert".

  • standard gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) : Script error: No such module "convert". (Script error: No such module "convert". electrified; Script error: No such module "convert". double track)
  • broad gauge 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) : Script error: No such module "convert".
  • narrow gauge (various) : Script error: No such module "convert". various gauges including 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in), 785 mm (2 ft 6 2932 in), 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in), and 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) (1998)

As of December 2002 narrow gauge railways were no longer owned or operated by PKP. They were transferred to regional authorities or became independent companies.

Rail links with adjacent countries

Municipal transport

File:Solaris Urbino 10 1006.jpg
City bus, manufactured by Polish company Solaris


Most Polish towns and cities have well developed municipal bus services. Typically, a city possesses its own local bus company, however, in some cases they have private competitors operating on certain lines upon the agreement with local authorities.

Until the 1990s, interurban connections were operated by a single, state-owned company PKS. Since then, it has been broken into a number of independent national and municipal enterprises. In addition, several private operators emerged. There are two classes of service distinguished by vehicle length:

  • autobus — longer vehicles (12.0 m and more),
  • bus — shorter vehicles with smaller capacity, very popular on local connections, run by individual persons and smaller companies.

While they often use the same bus stops, they tend to use different stations.


Bigger cities run dense tram networks, which are the primary mean of public transport. Currently, there are 14 systems serving over 30 cities including Bydgoszcz, Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków, Łódź, Poznań, Szczecin, Warsaw and Wrocław, with the total track length varying from Script error: No such module "convert". (Silesian Interurbans) to less than Script error: No such module "convert". (Tramways in Grudziądz). A new network is being constructed in Olsztyn. See the list: List of town tramway systems in Europe#Poland

Since the 1990s, a number of cities attempts to upgrade certain parts of their networks to the light rail standard (called szybkie tramwaje, eng. fast trams). The most notable investments are Poznań Fast Tram and Kraków Fast Tram with the underground Script error: No such module "convert". premetro section[citation needed][dubious ].


50px Trolleybuses can be found in three cities: Gdynia (with some lines reaching Sopot), Lublin and Tychy.


The first and currently the only metro line was opened in Warsaw in 1995. The second line is under construction. There are no official plans to build metro in other cities due to the lack of funds, but there is an ongoing debate whether they should be built, especially in Kraków and Wrocław.

See: Warsaw Metro


  • Crude oil and petroleum products Script error: No such module "convert".
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(2006 est.)

See also


  1. ^ Transport - activity results in 2011 Główny Urząd Statystyczny
  2. ^ [1] GDDKiA Invalid language code.
  3. ^ Adisa Banjanovic, Improving Poland's transport infrastructure
  4. ^ a b Polish motorways and expressways stats on skyscrapercityInvalid language code.
  5. ^ 'Bariera 300 km/h nie padła. Na koniec testów 293 km/h,' Rynek Kolejowy, 2013 11 24,
  6. ^ 'Polish Pendolino launches 200 km/h operation,' Railway Gazette Interrnational, 15 December 2014,
  7. ^ 'Pendolino z Trójmiasta do Warszawy,'
  8. ^ ';Jeszcze szybciej z Warszawy do Gdańska,' Kurier Kolejowy 9 01 2015
  9. ^ In brief: High Speed Rail will invade Poland by 2020, Transport Expertise Association, Matthieu Desiderio, 11 June 2008.
  10. ^ 'Polish High Sped Rail Project Cancelled,' Railway Gazette Inernational, 08 December 2011,

External links

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