The title of a 5-page article in the October 2013 edition of “The Railway Magazine”
The RM’s John Heaton visited the Kujawy-Pomorze province of Poland and interviewed Arriva PL management about the trials and tribulations of operating a private passenger TOC in a country where communist-era customs and practice are still common.
His PKP IC train takes 129 minutes to cover the 160 km journey from Gdansk to Bydgoszcz, quite smart work by Polish standards. But John is not impressed. In Bydgoszcz the train is split into two halves – an archaic practice according to John.
In Torun John meets Arriva’s local management. There is much talk about the Marshall and his office. Has the sheriff ridden into town? No, John is referring to the Chief Executive of the provincial government. On second thoughts, perhaps John Wayne and his deputies are just what Polish railways need to clean up their act.
Arriva suffers from unlicensed mini-bus operators stealing passengers 5 minutes before its trains call at stations. It also faces competition from local passenger service TOC Przewozy Regionalne, which is owned by the provincial governments.
John gets to interview Arrival PL chairman, Damian Grabowski, who describes how he would go about the job of improving rail passenger services in Poland.
BTWT verdict? A good article – factual and informative. Go out and buy a copy of the RM October edition as soon as you can!