A rail revolution is coming
If the airport is to be the heart of the planned transport hub, the rail links will be the arteries which will enable passenger flow around the country.
With dazzlingly futuristic designs for Solidarity Transport Hub (STH) submitted by international architectural houses, it’s the airport which has grabbed the headlines so far. But Poland’s plans for a complete revamp of the nation’s rail system is arguably even more transformational in its potential effect on Poland’s economic future. The nationwide rail system envisages 1600 km of new high speed rail and 2400 km of upgraded existing rail lines to be built by the year 2040. The initial phase will be the construction of a 140 km stretch of high speed rail linking Warsaw, STH and Łódź (Warsaw – STH in 15 minutes, Łódź – STH in 25 minutes).
The idea is to better connect not only Poland’s major urban centres with each other, but its smaller towns to those cities – all leading to the STH. In real terms, it would mean that someone living in a town like Suwałki in the north-eastern corner of Poland and four hours 45 minutes away, could comfortably get to Warsaw and back in a day, and a worker in Kielce, currently over three hours away, could commute to Warsaw in one hour and 10 minutes. If the government can carry this out, it would be the catalyst to another step in Poland’s economic development.