Pendolino high-speed train service launched in Poland
On 14 December, travellers in Poland were able to board for the first time a high-speed train, Pendolino. The long-awaited high-speed railway service, named Express Intercity Premium, connected the capital Warsaw with major Polish cities: Krakow, Wroclaw, Katowice and Gdansk. Although until an extensive up-grade of the existing track network in Poland is completed, the Italy-manufactured Pendolinos cannot operate at the full potential – 250 km/h, the new service shortens considerably train travel time between Polish cities.
Warsaw to Krakow by train in less than 2.5 h
Travel time between Warsaw and Krakow, in the south of Poland on board of a high-speed Pendolino is 2 h 28min, which is over an hour less than the conventional railway links would allow it. With heavy traffic and frequent road works, covering by car the nearly 300 km separating the two cities often takes 4 hours or more.
The travel time on other Pendolino routes in Poland is:
- Warsaw – Gdansk: 2h 58m (2h 37m after the track upgrade by the end of 2015)
- Warsaw – Katowice: 2h 34m
- Warsaw – Wroclaw: 3h 40m
PKP, the Polish Railway system acquired 20 of the Italian built trains, however in the initial phase of operation only nine train sets are in use. Warsaw-Krakow and Warsaw Gdansk are the busiest routes, with trains running hourly at peak times and every 2 hours off-peak. Pendolino service on Warszawa-Katowice and Warszawa-Wroclaw routes is available twice daily (each way).
Each Pendolino trainset offers 57 first class seats, 345 second class seats and three family compartments (for four passengers each). There is also a buffet/bar on board. Free Wi-Fi, a common commodity on intercity trains in Poland was not available on Pendolino in the first days of its operations, a flaw which PKP promised to correct by the end of 2014.
New Polish Pendolino – prices
The promotional sale of tickets for the first Pendolino services in Poland started in mid November, well before the official debut of the high-speed train, setting the lowest price at PLN 49 (a little over £9). After the first batch of tickets has been sold, the average prices for tickets on the four routes from Warsaw are expected to be set at around PLN 150 (£28). Traveling between Krakow in the south of Poland and Gdansk ate coast of the Baltic Sea by the high-speed train will cost on average PLN 190 (£35). The fares on Polish Pendolino will depend on how early in advance the passenger purchased the ticket.
Book Express Intercity Premium/Pendolino online through Polish Railways PKP website.