High-speed trains back on track in Poland

Polish State Railways Intercity (PKP Intercity) has decided to restore eight connections of high-speed Pendolino trains, which were suspended in March because of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic.

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At the end of the previous week, the company decided to restore some connections. Pendolino trains will be running between Kraków, Warsaw and Tricity.

Due to the pandemic situation, PKP sells tickets only for half of the seats in its trains, which will allow passengers to maintain social distancing. The railway employees will also provide protection means, such as masks, gloves and tissues.

The trains will be regularly disinfected, also during the ride. The staff will clean especially those elements which are often in direct contact with the passengers, such as handrails, door handles, or door control buttons.

PKP intercity also announced that other connections will be restored after further government decisions on lifting pandemic restrictions.

The Polish rail carrier signed a contract for the purchase of 20 Pendolino trains from Alstom company in May 2011. The cost of the trains was around EUR 400 million. The first passengers were conveyed by these trains in December 2014. The contract, worth EUR 665 mln, also included the construction of a service facility in Warsaw and the costs of maintenance for 17 years.

The trains that are used by PKP Intercity can reach a maximum speed of 200 kph (124 mph), but some railroads in Poland cannot be traversed at such speed.

During the first year of operation, Pendolino trains serviced 3.56 mln passengers and covered more than 6 mln kilometres.