The sleeping car attendant checks passengers’ tickets at Przeworsk
It’s been so long since I travelled on an internal sleeping car service in Poland that I had almost forgotten that they existed! The first time I tried out one of these services was in the 60’s when I travelled in a so-called ‘hotel train’ from Szczecin to Warsaw. I remember little of the journey other than that the dirty train, full of cigarette smoke, kept stopping to let more important freight traffic pass us by. The next time was in the 70s, when I travelled by sleeping car from Warsaw to Zakopane. That service was luxurious in comparison to the ‘hotel train’ and – as to be expected – more expensive.
Three passengers can sit or lie in comfort.
When my friends decided to travel from Przeworsk to Poznan in a sleeping compartment on the Przemyslanin – which runs daily from Przemysyl to Swinouscie between 25 June and 26 September – I was a little aprehensive. I needn’t have worried – the sleeping compartment, the corridor and toilet were spotlessly clean and remained in that condition throughout the whole journey. With the centre bunk dropped down the tiny ‘bedroom’ became a very comfortable sitting compartment. For an extra 70 zloty on top of the second class fare you get your own bunk, plus a bottle of mineral water, plastic cup, face flannel and a tiny bar of soap – luxury indeed!
By Poznan the train had acquired a post office coach.
On the outward journey my friends handed out some beers. Five bottles seems to be the amount that a Pole requires to sleep soundly in a sleeping coach irrespective of the quality of the track. On the return journey half a bottle of Zubrowka worked just as well and had less long-term side effects. British travellers wishing to try the same medecine are recomended to halve the quantities.