The planned total length of new railway lines for operation of the Solidarity Transport Hub is 1.6 thousand km. Before opening of the Solidarity Transport Hub, among other things, a high-speed train rail section connecting Warsaw with STH and Łódź must be constructed for trains traveling at the speed up to 250 km per hour.
Integration with rail transport is one of the conditions for the proper functioning of the Solidarity Transport Hub. As it results from the arrangements between STH and PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe and the Ministry of Infrastructure, as part of the STH program, approx. 1.6 thousand km of new lines will be constructed. Of this, 140 km as the so-called “zero stage”, which should be ready before the Solidarity Transport Hub becomes operational.
As part of the zerostage, a new railway line will be constructed: Warsaw-STH-Łódź Fabryczna, i.e. the first section of the High Speed Train project suspended in 2012 (the so-called “Y”). In the area of Baranów a hub will be constructed with connectors between STH and the existing lines being its parts:
- No. 1 and 4 (Warsaw – Grodzisk Maz. – Łódź with Central Trunk Line turn towards Katowice)
- No. 3 (Warsaw – Kutno – Poznań)
Ultimately, for the needs of the STH program, also, among others, the “CMK Północ (North Central Trunk Line)” line will be constructed, i.e. the extension of the Central Trunk Line from the Żyrardów area to the STH, and further in the direction of Płock, Włocławek, Grudziądz and Tricity.
The railway part of the STH program, which is divided into stages to be implemented up to 2040, is a webbing of new lines leading from 10 directions to STH and Warsaw. As a result of its construction, the train ride to the central airport is to take no longer than 2 hours. The network range will encompass the biggest cities in Poland (except for Szczecin, as the distance allows to get to the city comfortably by rail within 3 hours 15 minutes). Convenient access to the STH will also cover the border areas of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and the Kaliningrad Oblast.
10 railway “spokes” converge in the designed transfer hub in the area of Baranów and in Warsaw. Such a system guarantees practical and functional simplicity. Ultimately, it will make it possible to connect even distant STH areas offering a convenient travel time using trains running at a speed of up to 250 km/hour
Each “spoke” shall consist of new sections of the network and of renovated or modernized parts of the existing infrastructure. For the purposes of construction of this railway system, investment tasks were divided between the following companies: STH, responsible for execution of airport and railway tasks (construction of new lines), and PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe, which is the railway infrastructure manager in Poland and is responsible for modernization of the existing lines.
In the case of newly constructed high speed lines – firstly between Warsaw and Łódź, then, i.a., to Wrocław and Poznań – the assumed initial standard will be their adaptation to the speed of 250 km/h, with technical parameters enabling possible further increase of these speeds.
The benefits of railway investments under the STH program are undeniable. More than 100 Polish cities will be located in the zone guaranteeing access to STH within no more than 2.5 hours, which will allow for travel by means of the airport and railway hub of the STH in most of the most crucial urban agglomerations in Poland
The main elements of the STH program rail investments are as follows, broken down into “spokes”:
Spoke No. 1 (Pomerania, Kuyavia)
- STH – Płock – Włocławek – Grudziądz – Tczew –Tricity (Central Trunk Line North) – Lębork – Słupsk
- Włocławek – Toruń – Bydgoszcz – Piła – Szczecinek – Białogard – Kołobrzeg
Spoke No. 2 (Warmia)
- STH – Warsaw – Nasielsk – Ciechanów – Działdowo – Olsztyn
Spoke No. 3 (Podlaskie, Masuria)
- STH – Warsaw – Zielonka – Tłuszcz – Czyżew – Białystok – Kuźnica
- Białystok – Ełk – Suwałki – Trakiszki
- Tłuszcz – Ostrołęka – Łomża – Pisz – Orzysz – Giżycko
Spoke No. 4 (Siedlce, Biała Podlaska, Terespol)
- STH – Warsaw – Siedlce – Łuków – Biała Podlaska – Terespol
Spoke No. 5 (Lubelskie)
- STH – Warsaw – Otwock – Lublin – Trawniki – Chełm
- Trawniki – Krasnystaw –– Zamość – Tomaszów Lubelski – Bełżec
Spoke No. 6 (Radom, Podkarpackie)
- STH – Grójec – Warka – Radom – Iłża – Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski – Stalowa Wola – Łętownia – Rzeszów – Sanok
- Rzeszów – Jasło – Krosno
Spoke No. 7 (Kielce and Tarnów)
- STH – CMK – Węzeł Małopolsko-Śląski (WMŚ - Lesser Poland-Silesia Hub) – Kraków – Podłęże – Nowy Sącz/Chabówka
- WMŚ– Czechowicz-Dziedzice – Jastrzębie Zdrój
- WMŚ – Katowice
- Central Trunk Line – Opoczno – Końskie –Kielce – Busko Zdrój – Tarnów – Nowy Sącz – Muszyna
Spoke No. 8 (Częstochowa, Opolszczyzna)
- STH – Skierniewice – Częstochowa – Opole – Nysa – Kłodzko
Spoke No. 9 (Wielkopolskie, Lubuskie, Zachodniopomorskie)
- STH – Łódź – Sieradz – Wieruszów – Wrocław – Świdnica – Wałbrzych – Lubawka
- Sieradz – Kalisz – Poznań – Szczecin – Szczecin Goleniów
- Kalisz – Ostrów Wlkp. – Leszno – Głogów – Zielona Góra
- Poznań – Zbąszynek – Gorzów Wielkopolski
Spoke No. 10 (Kutno, Konin, Poznań)
- STH – Warsaw – Sochaczew – Kutno – Konin – Swarzędz – Poznań
Currently, the total length of railway lines in Poland is 19 thousand km, whereas from the beginning of the 1990s more than 5 thousand km of the lines have been dismantled. New investments are needed because rail routes have not been built in Poland on large scale since the 1980s when the Metallurgy-Sulfur Line and previously the Central Trunk Line were completed. In the last 30 years, in Poland only 50 km of new railway tracks were built (37 km of Pomeranian Metropolitan Rail and several connection lines to airports, including to Warsaw Chopin and Lublin airports).
In our country there are more than 100 cities with more than 10 thousand inhabitants without access to rail connections. For comparison: there is one such city in the Czech Republic, there are eight in Slovakia, six in Hungary and five in Austria. The current shape of the Polish railway network still bears traces of partition, which can be seen, among others, in the system of lines and lower track density in the eastern Poland.
Thanks to the implementation of the STH program, the railway map of Poland will feature the cities which cannot reached by train today, e.g. Jastrzębie-Zdrój, Tomaszów Lubelski, Końskie, Busko-Zdrój, Dąbrowa Tarnowska and Węgorzewo. High-speed lines and “spokes” leading to STH will make the network more coherent and enable its usage in full capacity. As announced by the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Mikołaj Wild, a multi-annual STH program is to be prepared in spring, which will specify what specific airport, rail and road investments will be carried out as part of STH operation and what financing will be needed for this purpose.