Polish Railways operate trains of various standards, travel times and ticket prices. Passengers may use both international and national trains, including inter-regional, regional and suburban railways, which has recently grown in popularity EU-wide. There are 13 passenger railway carriers operating in Poland (links to websites are given below). In principle, they do not recognise each other's tickets. This means that passengers must purchase their tickets carefully and get on the right train. The timetable of all railway carriers, available in English-language version, can be found on http://www.rozklad-pkp.pl/en. The timetables of individual carriers are also available on their websites.
Tickets may be purchased in ticket offices, ticket-vending machines (at some stations only) and on-line through carriers' websites. You may also buy your ticket once you get on the train. To do so, you must immediately report to the ticket controller. Most carriers charge an extra fee for tickets bought onboard unless there is no ticket office at the station, or it is closed.
If you hold a ticket valid on a different train from the one you have entered, you will need to get a new ticket. This might entail making an additional payment or being offered a document, based on which you may apply for a partial reimbursement of the ticket costs in the ticket office. As there are various agreements and mutual ticket recognition schemes binding between different carriers, you can easily get confused. In this event, we recommend abiding by the ticket collector's guidelines. We also suggest that you accept the request for payment (when necessary) as it does not amount to accepting a fine or admitting any guilt. You should also keep your ticket, which might form grounds for filing a potential complaint about a given carrier.
For the last decade, we have noted a gradual improvement in the quality of Polish railway services and safety. However, some EU standards have not been complied with yet. In the survey conducted by the Office as part of the Passenger's Day initiative, the ease of ticket purchase and the availability of timetable information are assessed positively. Unfortunately, the survey has revealed that passengers have negative opinions on the integration of railway connections with other transport services. Conveniences for the disabled are also assessed in a negative way.