Polish State Railways is the dominant railway operator in Poland. The company was founded when the former Polskie Koleje Państwowe state-owned enterprise was divided into several units based on the need for separation between infrastructure management and transport operations. PKP S.A. is the dominant company in PKP Group collective that resulted from the split, and maintains in 100% share control, being fully responsible for the assets of all of the other PKP Group component companies. The group's organisations are dependent upon PKP S.A., but proposals for privatisation have been made.
The Polish railways network consists of around 18,510 kilometres (11,500 mi) of track as of 2019, of which 11,998 km (7,455 mi) is electrified. National electrification system is 3 kV DC.
Poland is a member of the International Union of Railways (UIC), its UIC Country Code is 51.
Rail services are operated by a range of public and private rail operators. The nationally owned PKP Group operates the majority of rail services. In addition to PKP owned companies, there are a number of private cargo operators, as well as a number of independent passenger operators, owned predominantly by Voivodeship provincial governments.
Links with adjacent countries
Voltage of electrification systems may differ. The Polish voltage is 3 kV DC.
- Same gauge – 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in):
- Czech Republic – same voltage
- Germany – 3 kV DC/15 kV AC
- Slovakia – same voltage
- Sweden – by train ferry; proposed fixed links, one from Szczecin to Ystad via Bornholm Island, the other from Gdynia to Karlskrona, both with 25 kV AC and SE-C loading gauge (Voltage change 3 kV DC/25 kV AC on Polish side)
- Break of gauge – 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in)/1,520 mm (4 ft 11+27⁄32 in)
- Belarus – 3 kV DC/25 kV AC, a short stretch of dual-gauge track terminates at Grodno
- Lithuania – 3 kV DC/25 kV AC, as part of the construction of Rail Baltica a new standard-gauge diesel line from there to Kaunas was built in October 2015
- Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) – not electrified – there are short stretches of dual gauge sections around border area
- Ukraine – 3 kV DC/25 kV AC
PKP Intercity is a company of PKP Group responsible for long-distance passenger transport. It runs about 350 trains daily, connecting mainly large agglomerations and smaller towns in Poland. The company also provides most international trains to and from Poland. Trains offer Wi-Fi connectivity.
The company runs the following train categories:
- Express InterCity Premium (EIP, EIC Premium) – domestic high-speed trains (ED250 New Pendolino) between major cities with obligatory reservation.
- Express InterCity (EIC) – high-standard trains between major cities and popular tourist destinations:InterCity – affordable express trains with obligatory reservation; higher standard than TLK but the same fare
- domestic Express InterCity trains with obligatory reservation,
- EuroCity (EC) – international high-standard trains, reservation obligatory on domestic routes,
- EuroNight (EN) – international night trains with obligatory reservation.
- Twoje Linie Kolejowe (TLK, "Your Rail Lines") – affordable express trains with obligatory reservation (with some exceptions); lower standard than InterCity. Some night TLK trains provide couchette and sleeper cars. A limited number of shorter-route TLK trains is 2nd-class only.
- Międzynarodowy (M) – international fast train (lower standard than EuroCity)
- Międzynarodowy nocny – international night train (lower standard than EuroNight)