More than 90 thousand railway employees


In 2018 there were more than 90 thousand persons employed in the railway market. Mostly those are employees of railway carriers and infrastructure managers. The number of employees has been systematically dropping – in 2010 there were more than 103 thousand of them. The whole branch employed in 2018 111 persons fewer than at the end of 2017. The number of employees has risen at carrier undertakings and fallen at infrastructure managing companies.

In the passenger transport branch in 2018 there were 22 647 persons employed. Since 2014 one may have observed a steady level of employment, with a little rise of numbers in 2018. More people than in 2017 were employed by Koleje Małopolskie (by 26 persons) and Łódzka Kolej Aglomeracyjna (by 25 persons). Three carriers have reduced their employment: Przewozy Regionalne – by 446 persons, Koleje Mazowieckie – by 13 persons and SKM in Tricity – by 2 persons.

27 900 persons were employed, performing their tasks with regard to freight transfers – 642 more than in the year before. The biggest rise in employment was noticed at PKP Cargo – by 265 persons as well as Ciech Cargo and Transchem – by 156 and 152 persons respectively.

At the end of 2018 the infrastructure managers held the employment at the level of 39 850 persons, which is 2% less than in the previous year. The biggest decrease – by 365 persons – could be noted at PKP PLK. Fewer persons were also in the employ of PMT Linie Kolejowe and JSK – each of them have lost 136 employees. On the other hand a large rise in employment in 2018 occurred at PKP LHS and Pomorska Kolej Metropolitalna – by 44 persons in both companies. The employment statements do not include Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa, UBB Polska and railway sidings’ managers/users.  

The biggest employer in the railway branch in Poland remains PKP PLK, which at the end of 2018 employed 43% of the total number of railway employees. Further places were occupied by PKP Cargo (19%) and PKP Intercity (9%).


Key employees at railway carriers are persons directly involved in the movement of trains. Such employees need to possess necessary predispositions and legally described qualifications to perform their duties. In 2018 more than a half of all railway employees remained at such posts and they have been subject to rules concerning regulated professions.


Age structure of all employees shows a large share of persons being above 50 years of age (43%). Data presented by freight carriers shows that only 9% of employees are below 30 years of age. This situation is an indirect result of restructuring of the employment in the freight transfer branch in the years 2010-2017, which meant refraining from recruitment of new employees. In that period of time the general level of employment in that branch fell by ca. 880 posts.


Analysis of the age structure of railway employees shows that there is a great risk of a generation gap appearing in the field of all activities connected with the movement of trains. In this area the employees acquire their retirement benefits earlier than usual, and newly employed staff needs time in order to receive specialised training and become legally qualified to perform their tasks.

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