From Hel to hell


Video shot from the window of Hel – Krakow Plaszow train on the night of 22 – 23 August by mgrokrutny

People crushed in coaches with no room to move, others travelling in the space between coaches, passengers jammed in toilets, mothers with small children crying because they cannot relieve themselves – reports like these have been coming in daily during the summer holidays. Meanwhile recently refurbished coaches are left to the mercy of vandals in sidings. Why? Because PKP IC is heading for a thumping loss and has been told to cap its deficit and cutting down on trains and coaches is the only way it knows how. Why? Because PKP IC management do not understand the basics of marketing and face track access that are amongst the highest in Europe. Why? Because the half-baked ‘reform’ of PKP makes Poland’s railways expensive to run and inefficient. Why? Because the government – despite its green posturing – is pursuing a pro-road agenda which the rest of Europe has long abandoned. Why? The Poles have a saying, Jeśli nie wiadomo o co chodzi, to chodzi o pieniądze. Which loosely translated means – if something doesn’t seem to make any sense, you can bet someone’s making money out of it. With a hat tip to Podróżny for the link to the video.

4 Responses to “From Hel to hell”

  1. Joseph Monty Says:

    This is the same mentality that nearly killed the US railroads in the 1970’s and effectively killed practical passenger service. Basically if you’re losing money cut service. That just made them so inefficient that nobody thought to ship anything by rail so they just lost more money and went bankrupt. Poland is redoing the mistakes we made in the past by killing its rail and public transport system in favor of the highways

  2. John Ball Says:

    Can’t Poland learn from other country’s mistakes?

    We in Britain have suffered overcrowded trains – one or two coaches for trains that everyone knows will be busy; school start time (e.g. Torbay or in Cornwall where they ended up hiring a bus to take the excess numbers of kids), holiday resorts in the height of summer (e.g. Skegness). Meanwhile spare coaches are left in sidings because the rolling stock companies want to keep the market price of hiring up.

  3. Trevor Says:

    Hmmm, maybe the interested parties, such as towns served by the railways like this one, should start putting together their own lobby group.

  4. White Horse Pilgrim Says:

    This reminds me of the Warsaw – Zagorz train in the 80’s. It amazed me that apparently rational Poles would stack their luggage neatly in the toilets them proceed to hang on for hours with nowhere to relieve themselves. After waiting all night a number of travellers finally used the track behind the train at Rzeszow as a latrine whilst locomotives were changed. This seemed to be perfectly acceptable behaviour. At the time I put this down to the mental debilitation caused by communism. At least one could enjoy haulage by (on that particular journey) a Pt47, a Ty2 and double-headed TKt48s.

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