In 2019 335.9 m passengers used rail services which is an increase by 25.6 m passengers as compared to 2018 and the best result in the 21st century. Almost all carriers reported an increase in the number of passengers. Nearly 89 m passengers travelled with POLREGIO, the largest Polish carrier. These figures demonstrate the growing attractiveness of rail transport and increasingly competitive services rendered by railway operators. The number of passengers is increasing for the fifth year in a row which shows passengers’ growing trust. Moreover, passenger transport performance and operational performance were also on the rise in 2019. In 2019 new ticket selling systems become popular among passengers who are willing to use new distribution systems and buy tickets online or in ticket machines.
In 2019 the Polish infrastructure mananger, PKP PLK, accepted over 220 investment projects worth nearly PLN 10 bn. The infrastructure works covered modernization or construction of nearly 2,000 km of tracks, over 700 level crossings and nearly 150 viaducts. The effect is to ensure comfort, safety on tracks and crossings as well as competitive advantages of freight transport by increasing the quality and availability of routes and speed of trains.
In rail freight transport, following excellent results in 2018, a decrease in demand in relation to transport of bulk goods, including coal, metal ores and other mining and quarrying products was reported. In 2019 cargo weight amounted to 236.4 m tonnes, and was reduced by 5.5% in relation to 2018. The value of the remaining parameters was also lower than in the previous year, as transport performance and operational performance decreased.
In 2019 a dynamic development of intermodal transport, which transported 19.5 m tonnes, was particularly noticeable. New entities offering intermodal services appeared on the Polish market. The upward trend in intermodal transport, which has been continuing for years now, should be perceived as an advantage. The previous year was record-breaking, as 19.5 m tonnes of goods were transported, which means that the weight rose by 1.8 m tonnes (10.2%). In 2019 rail carriers transported a record number of freight units and TEUs. The data for recent years confirm that intermodal transport is the future of railways.
- Last year was very successful for railways. First of all, we see the growing popularity of rail transport among passengers. The development of intermodal transport, which in my opinion is the future of the industry, is particularly important. All these outstanding results would not be possible without proper investments in infrastructure and rolling stock. The railway sector is able to meet the expectations of passengers and contractors only when it shows that it is constantly developing and improving – Ignacy Góra, the President of the Office of Rail Transport comments the Report. – Unfortunately, the upward trend has been halted this year by the coronavirus epidemic. The crisis was felt acutely by passenger carriers, the situation in freight transport is a bit better – adds Ignacy Góra.
The report contains detailed data and analyzes of passenger and freight services, infrastructure and rolling stock. For the first time, a separate chapter has been devoted to the rapidly developing intermodal transport. The data presented in this study allow to trace the trends and changes of Polish railway system. The report is based on data collected by the Office of Rail Transport and supplements and extends the current statistics and other publications.