The Pociąg Papieski is a quintessential Polish idea – a modern train running since 2006 between Krakow and some of the places closely connected with the early life of the late Pope John Paul II. On the plus side, it’s smooth running, kept immaculately clean and the local railwaymen are inordinately proud of it. On the minus side, it has absorbed an enormous amount of local authority funding, leaving little available for the other lines in Malopolska province. The seats are too small and too close together, and the in-train entertainment – non-stop videos of the Pope, interrupted only by ads promoting a 30 volume history of his life – are not to everybody’s taste.
The reason that you’re reading about it here is that the original idea for a Papal Train, first mooted by Ryszarda Leszczynska in 2004, was for a daily steam hauled vintage train!