Worse and worse on the railroad. They will be the most determined

PKP Intercity announced that over 32 million people chose PKP Intercity trains from January to July. This is a 16 percent better result. compared to the record-breaking year 2019. In July, the carrier transported nearly 6.5 million travelers. “This is 46 percent more than in July last year (4.43 million passengers), an average of 209 thousand people a day traveled by PKP Intercity trains a day” – it was written a few days ago in a Facebook post. The carrier boasts on its website that this year the interest in train travel increased by 90% compared to last year.

– We enjoy these results – the daily work of the entire company brings results and satisfaction. Poles are eager to return to the railroads after the period of pandemic restrictions – they travel more by trains and contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. The transport records also prove the rightness of intensive investments in railways, which must be prepared to handle an increasing number of passengers – said Marek Chraniek, President of the Management Board of PKP Intercity.

You buy the ticket at your own risk

However, passengers are greatly frustrated by the significant delays and the conditions under which they have traveled. Many of them complain that the carrier sells seats without a seat guarantee and then travels like “canned sardines”. – Passengers may purchase tickets in trains composed of carriages without a seat guarantee. The traveler always receives information about the availability of the seat before paying for the ticket and makes the decision on his or her own responsibility to use the journey. In a situation where the interest in the connection is very much big, PKP Intercity is adding additional carriages or launching additional trains. Such action depends on attendance and technical possibilities. The sooner the carrier knows about the increased interest, the more possibilities it has to provide additional seats, e.g. by bringing a wagon from another part of Poland. That is why we encourage you to plan your trip in advance and buy tickets in advance – the press team of PKP Intercity SA answers

The carrier’s announcement states that from 1 to 31 July, 710 trains were reinforced with 1049 wagons. The press office adds that in trains composed of electric and diesel multiple units (e.g. ED160 Flirt or ED250 Pendolino) it is not possible to buy a ticket without a seat reservation – if all seats are occupied, the traveler should use another connection.

Frustration was at its peak

Now experts have decided to comment on the attendance success in “Rzeczpospolita”. They point out that such high interest in rail travel results mainly from high fuel prices. And when the fuels start to cheapen, frustrated with this year’s vacation travelers will give up the services of the Polish carrier for good.

– All perturbations, such as delays, problems with the quantity, quality and maintenance of rolling stock, turn out to be particularly costly at such moments – says “Rzeczpospolita” Michał Beim from the University of Life Sciences in Poznań, an expert of the Sobieski Institute.

Beim points out that the lack of real competition for the Polish carrier means that the disappointment with the unsuccessful PKP Intercity trip will result in discouraging the railways in general.

The latest data from the Office of Rail Transport shows that only 61.4 percent arrived punctually in June. PKP Intercity trains, compared with 73.4 percent. in April. The carrier explains the delays by taking longer getting on and off of more passengers. The later departure from the station is also due to the attachment of additional wagons. Experts cited by Rzeczpospolita also point to poorly conducted works on the tracks, which disrupt the traffic.

– We are fully aware of the importance of predictability of a successful journey, i.e.in. according to the timetable, and we are constantly working on reducing the level of delays that we can influence – explains the PKP Intercity press team. – Looking at the punctuality rate provided by the Office of Rail Transport, which in the second quarter amounted to 68.03 percent, it is worth noting that 61 percent. cases of the untimely arrival of PKP Intercity trains to the destination station was the result of situations beyond our control. Taking into account the delays affected by PKP Intercity, the punctuality of trains in the second quarter of 2022 was 87.56%.

– Among the situations on which the carrier had no influence were, among others secondary delays resulting from a delay on the part of Ukrainian Railways. We recorded 451 cases of delayed PKP Intercity trains departing from border crossings with Ukraine. In addition, some of the trains were not punctual, because they waited for refugees from Ukraine, mainly at the station in Przemyśl, in order to efficiently transport them to further regions of the country. Punctuality is also influenced by such events as e.g. difficult weather conditions resulting in e.g. damage to rolling stock, traction network or obstacles on tracks (fallen trees), as well as accidents involving people, including suicide attempts, interventions by the police, SOK or medical services – explains PKP Intercity.

Too few trains and carriages

Specialists also believe that the Polish carrier has too few trains and carriages. More are scrapped than bought or upgraded. “Two decades ago, the number of wagons reached five thousand, now there are half of them,” reads Rzeczpospolita.

PKP Intercity ensures that by 2030 the company will allocate PLN 24.5 billion for the purchase of new rolling stock and modernization of already owned vehicles. – Until then, all PKP Intercity vehicles will be new or modernized. Currently, we have signed contracts for over PLN 6.1 billion. Thanks to them, the rolling stock park has already strengthened, among others over 700 modernized carriages and 30 new electric locomotives. Many contracts are in progress, informs the PKP Intercity press team.

The carrier adds that this year it plans to announce a tender procedure for the purchase of 300 new wagons, with the possibility of extending the order to 150 more vehicles.

Source: PKP Intercity, “Rzeczpospolita”

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