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PKP (Polish National Railway) is a turn off


aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444
18 Jan 2011 #1
As I have mentioned in the past, I have been using the PKP services quite often and I would never recommend it to anyone, unless they haven't got other choice.

- expansive
- bad service
- dirty
- uncomfortable

I hate PKP.

It is amazing that they spend so much money on PR and so little on actually improving the services - a total management failure.

You still have a "barking" woman selling you a ticket. Customer service at its best.

Please don't tell me to buy a car, that is not the issue here and a topic for anther thread.
convex 20 | 3,978
18 Jan 2011 #2
Guess it depends. First class tickets are dirt cheap compared to most countries. The Intercity trains are alright, the ones with the power outlets. Service is "meh", but it costs next to nothing.
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
18 Jan 2011 #3
The Ryanair of Polish travel, you really get what you pay for ;)
OP aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444
18 Jan 2011 #4
The Intercity trains are alright, the ones with the power outlets.

I cannot use Intercity since it does not offer services on the route I use most often.
Harry
18 Jan 2011 #5
- expansive

Are you serious?! The trains here are dirt cheap! Allow me to copy paste from a previous post: last month my girlfriend and I went to England to visit my mother. Two return train tickets for the 150km journey from the airport and back would have cost £188/910zl (assuming that I bought the tickets 14 days in advance). Instead I hired a car for £80/388zl and spend another £25 on fuel. The really amusing part is that that £188 wouldn't even have included seats: my uncle apparently quite often takes the train to London which we would have been on and he said that unless he pays for a seat reservation, he always has to stand up all the way to London.

- bad service

You've clearly have never been on a British train!
jwojcie 2 | 763
18 Jan 2011 #6
Personally I would dissolve PKP XX and start again... nevertheless PKP Intercity is quite ok. PKP PR is different story though. PKP as whole is amalgam of issues, problems, etc...

As far as I know you can basically brake the issue into
1. PKP IC - expensive but usually with relatively good quality of service (it is train operator though so they are not responsible for tracks state)

2. [PKP] PR - inexpensive with very low quality of service, basically all what was bad was putted to that company
3. PKP PLK - basically tracks operator, seems to be unable to efficiently use funds for tracks modernization
4. various regional operators

Basically the idea with PKP PR was, that it would operate regionally, so mostly on not profitable routes but due to public importance partially funded by regional govs. Inability of PKP PR to give proper quality of service triggered formation/grow of regional operators for example Koleje Mazowieckie or Koleje Dolnoslaskie. Anyway I see the light in here. On the other hand I don't see how PR can survive in the long run when one by one voivodeships (main stakeholders in PR) are forming their own operators...

PS. actually I've learnt funny thing: PR is no longer PKP, it is company entirely belonging to voivodeships and it current name is:

Przewozy Regionalne Sp. z o.o.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
18 Jan 2011 #7
As I have mentioned in the past, I have been using the PKP services quite often and I would never recommend it to anyone, unless they haven't got other choice.

But which service are you using? Przewozy Regionalne are nothing to do with the PKP Group anymore, for instance.
OP aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444
18 Jan 2011 #8
Are you serious?

yes, I am.

You've clearly have never been on a British train!

I have not.

Przewozy Regionalne Sp. z o.o.

then I use that I believe: TLK.

But which service are you using?

Przewozy Regionalne are nothing to do with the PKP Group anymore, for instance.

przewozy or former PKP still sucks.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
18 Jan 2011 #9
then I use that I believe: TLK.

TLK belongs to PKP Intercity, and the quality seems to depend on whether it's a subsidised service or commercial service. But yes, TLK is certainly hit or miss, though generally fine. It seems to depend very much on the time of day and the route - Lublin-Warsaw seems to be great, as does Warsaw-Poznan.

przewozy or former PKP still sucks.

Depends on the province - no problems in Poznan, and the railbuses of Lubuskie aren't too bad. But the company is ruined anyway - as someone pointed out, they can't last for long when all the provinces are starting their own small companies anyway.
BBman - | 344
18 Jan 2011 #10
- expansive

What?? Trains in Poland are dirt cheap!!

- bad service

Most of the PKP staff are unhappy looking (this is quite normal for customer service jobs in Poland) but they do their jobs.

- dirty

I agree with you here, Polish trains are filthy, especially the bathrooms. Only intercity trains are clean, i think - the train from Wroclaw to Berlin for instance is very nice, but i believe it's German.

- uncomfortable

I'd argue that all trains (economy class) are uncomfortable.
jwojcie 2 | 763
19 Jan 2011 #11
I agree with you here, Polish trains are filthy, especially the bathrooms. Only intercity trains are clean, i think - the train from Wroclaw to Berlin for instance is very nice, but i believe it's German.

It is Polish IC. AFAIK there is only one German train from Wroclaw, to Dresden.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
19 Jan 2011 #12
I agree with you here, Polish trains are filthy, especially the bathrooms. Only intercity trains are clean, i think - the train from Wroclaw to Berlin for instance is very nice, but i believe it's German.

EIC trains are fine, TLK trains can be hit or miss. InterRegio can be okay, and Regio (osobowy) is terribly hit or miss (depends who is subsidising it).

As for train bathrooms - depends very much on the service and who it's aimed at. Same as in anywhere in the world - the average British train toilet is horrible, too. But at the same time, the toilets in the Wroclaw-L'viv service are spotless - with even a shower available!

A lot of it is due to the price - look at how students can now travel over 1000km for around 35zl. That's just not economic at all.

I'd argue that all trains (economy class) are uncomfortable.

Nothing wrong with economy in EIC trains. Even TLK can be perfectly fine on some routes.

Osobowy is sometimes uncomfortable (again, depends on the route) - but what can you expect when a ticket from Poznan to Wroclaw costs 23zl, with a weekend ticket available for 30zl?
Harry
19 Jan 2011 #13
Harry:
You've clearly have never been on a British train!

I have not.

Let me put it this way: the last time I thought of taking a train in the UK it would have cost me twelve times more than a journey in Poland of a similar distance. The journey in Poland would have been on a nice new train if I'd gone Inter Regio (I missed that train and so spent an extra 20zl going first class on TLK) but in the UK I would have been standing in the aisle of an old piece of ****.
alexw68
19 Jan 2011 #14
but in the UK I would have been standing in the aisle of an old piece of ****.

As true of the West Coast Express out of Paddington as it is of any commuter belt profanation. And the khazis? What is just about usable in London is a plague pit by the time you hit Swindon.

But at the same time, the toilets in the Wroclaw-L'viv service are spotless - with even a shower available!

Now THAT is progress. We took that one in Christmas 2004 to Lwów - don't recall too much about the journey, but when we were holed up in Przemyśl at 3 in the morning to allow the rail crew to switch out the wheels for Ukrainian broad gauge, a panicked shriek from under the wagon:

"Madam, please don't use the toilet here - it's falling on the workmens' heads!"
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
19 Jan 2011 #15
Now THAT is progress.

This train is very very good - it's even equipped with automatic gauge-changing equipment so that there isn't the bogie-changing malarky at the border.

Only problem is the time - 17:20 from Wroclaw, arrive 06:00 L'viv - then depart 23:59 L'viv, arrive 10:something in Wroclaw. Quite good coming from there, but awful departing Wroclaw in the middle of the afternoon!
OP aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444
20 Jan 2011 #16
Let me put it this way: the last time I thought of taking a train in the UK it would have cost me twelve times more than a journey in Poland of a similar distance. The journey in Poland would have been on a nice new train if I'd gone Inter Regio (I missed that train and so spent an extra 20zl going first class on TLK) but in the UK I would have been standing in the aisle of an old piece of ****.

It seems that British trains are bad, but what does it have to do with the Polish rail discussion.

It is, as it has been established hit or miss with TLK and the only option is to take IC, which does not travel on all routes, so I am still stuck with dirty, late, lousy service on my route, which costs me 60 PLN per weekend. My problem is that I never know what I find:

- dirty washroom (I don't use those washrooms anymore)
- pushy passenger (well - they were too many thus far)
- mouthy PKP service (one is enough)
-rude teenager with his/her mobile phone ringing in my ears (they seem to multiply)
- slippery sidewalk on train station (the winter is NOT over yet)
- smelly of urine underground walkway (has been like that for years, not it is getting worse due to the fact that the washrooms on the stations are often out of service, or simply closed)

I am trying really hard to find something positive, but I have not been successful.

Well, it is still NOT as pricey as the rest of the European countries, but I bet it will be soon, with the same service - a big TURN OFF.

I just hope to warn other visitors who are planning to visit Poland to take another alternative while travelling, so they can actually have some found memories;)
tankacz 3 | 17
20 Jan 2011 #17
I think that the trains are great ! Ok, they might be less clean than some others but I find them charming. The trains in the UK are usually clean but very,very expensive and it is possible to pay a fortune for a ticket and have to sit in the isle on the floor due to lack of seats. The seats are smaller and people are squashed together to get as many on the train as possible.

The Polish trains are the same as the UK trains years ago. They may be old but they have much more room, have individual carriages and run mainly on time. In the UK the trains are often late (sometimes by hours). 'Leaves on the line' can cause a delay and if it is snowing forget it.

Maybe I have been lucky. I usually run the route from Warsaw or Poznan to Torun and have found the trains to be very punctual. I could be accused of merely reminiscing about a blast from the past but I really look forward to using the Polish trains when I am in Poland and recommend it to others :-)
Teffle 22 | 1,321
20 Jan 2011 #18
mouthy PKP service (one is enough)

I don't get this. In my experience customer service in general leaves a lot to be desired in Poland but people just seem to take it - do they?

If I was paying good money for public transport in Ireland (which I don't usually) and one of the staff was "mouthy", it certainly wouldn't be the end of it.

Basically I'd do my best to ensure that they lose their job and depending exactly how "mouthy" or insulting they were, may meet up with them outside of their work, down some alley and really upset them.

Does nobody complain in Poland? Is it regarded as pointless?
Varsovian 92 | 634
20 Jan 2011 #19
Look, the big picture is to create a total funding crisis for PKP - thereby giving Tusk the opportunity to sell the cherry-picked parts to his German friends. The govt has no incentive to improve PKP.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
20 Jan 2011 #20
Uh, your logic is flawed. The plan was to sell PKP Intercity - but the current crisis prevents this, because PKP Intercity can't possibly make a profit with the way that the network is falling apart.

The real issue is that *someone* needs to make a decision as to what the future is. But of course - any decision is going to involve culling a lot of needless jobs and dramatically increasing fares to a more realistic, sustainable level.

The problem in Poland is that people want dirt cheap trains at a very high speed and quality. Even in Switzerland, with probably the best train system in the world - trains are not cheap at all, nor are they particularly fast.
jwojcie 2 | 763
20 Jan 2011 #21
I just hope to warn other visitors who are planning to visit Poland to take another alternative while travelling

I usually run the route from Warsaw or Poznan to Torun and have found the trains to be very punctual

Well, it seems that logical outcome from this discussion would be that trains around Szczecin area sucks, but are quite ok in Warsaw, Poznan or Wroclaw (my area ;-) ). As I said before, Szczecin has no it's own regional operator yet, so maybe lack of competition has something to do here. Anyway there is one rule regarding public transport especially trains (excluding those with seat reservation): never ever plan to use it at the begining or the end of main holidays...

The plan was to sell PKP Intercity - but the current crisis prevents this, because PKP Intercity can't possibly make a profit with the way that the network is falling apart.

Actually PKP Intercity was making quite big profits in the past. Their recent inability to that was directly connected with PR ("przewozy regionalne") policy of subsidized long run trains on the most profitable routes. The end of it is that PKP IC had a loss and PR almost bancrupted. It was example of dishonest competition. Anyway, in my opinion there is really nothing wrong with privatizing rail companies as long as routes operator (PLK) is independent state owned controller (what will enable to not repeat UK mistake).
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
20 Jan 2011 #22
Does nobody complain in Poland?

i do

Is it regarded as pointless

nope. i complained and the young woman found that she'd just worked her last shift.

i'd rather not see too much improvement with regard to carriages. i really don't want to pay more. and contrary to belief, a frequently used service is not cheap. it is only with the special offers that i'm able to travel long distance regularly. length of journey measured by short period of time is more important than comfort for me.
OP aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444
21 Jan 2011 #23
I don't get this. In my experience customer service in general leaves a lot to be desired in Poland but people just seem to take it - do they?

I do, I even used to complain to the local newspaper, which resulted in a couple of articles sometime ago. One regarded ZUS, another one MZK. After a while I got bored and tired, so do many people.

One case regarded local public transport and I had to go the the headquarters to point out the offender. The MZK boss told me that the next time I have a problem I should complain directly to him, to which I said: where is the hotline on trams and busses to do that. That was years ago and the tram driver showed me a finger when I asked him if he was going straight or turning left to "zajezdnia".

If I was paying good money for public transport in Ireland (which I don't usually) and one of the staff was "mouthy", it certainly wouldn't be the end of it.

Basically I'd do my best to ensure that they lose their job and depending exactly how "mouthy" or insulting they were, may meet up with them outside of their work, down some alley and really upset them.

I am not going to beat some driver in the alley lol.

PS> I have already had a couple exchanges with the service people since my arrival, but it gets really bothersome after a while. Also, I have already been called a "trouble maker", so I am happy to listen to other people complaining in the Post Office and that happens on regular basis:)
Boz - | 23
21 Jan 2011 #24
I have already had a couple exchanges with the service people since my arrival, but it gets really bothersome after a while.

Actually,it's called 'Polish Reality'...Learn to live with it
cms 9 | 1,271
21 Jan 2011 #25
The problem in Poland is that people want dirt cheap trains at a very high speed and quality. Even in Switzerland, with probably the best train system in the world - trains are not cheap at all, nor are they particularly fast.

No - we simply want the service to be as good as it was say 10 years ago. That would be a start point. But it is now

- less reliable
- generally slower
- dirtier
- older
- majority of stations uglier.

In that time the price of the ticket I normally buy (first class Poznan to Warsaw) has gone up from 60 PLN to circa 130. Far higher than compound inflation.

I do not expect Swiss or German standards with a 32% income tax rate. But expecting things to be as good as Poland 2001 is not unreasonable.

The current govt is at fault - they had well prepared data for them on who to fire, how to restructure and how to finance that but did not move on it before the bank funding dried up and with the deficit racing head under their worrying stewardship they will now find it difficult to fix.
Varsovian 92 | 634
21 Jan 2011 #26
cms - you were quoting Delphi, not me.

Delphi - PKP sections will be sold off cheaply to friends, your oracular logic (of the national interest motivating the govt) is flawed.
Ironside 49 | 10,375
21 Jan 2011 #27
Service is getting worse and prices of tickets are getting higher, somebody should be shot as an example!
Hell, train service was better before the WWII !
Varsovian 92 | 634
21 Jan 2011 #28
WKD in western Warsaw was faster and you travelled in style!!
OP aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444
21 Jan 2011 #29
Actually,it's called 'Polish Reality'...Learn to live with it

please don't be patronizing, I grew up in Poland. You go ahead and learn to live with it. I will do what I see fit. In this case complain. Many people who never left Poland complain about it too. People like you are those who stop progress in Poland - ah, jakos to bedzie and so on.

Service in Poland sucks in general and it should be improved. It is getting better in the private section for sure, but there is a LONG way to go.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
21 Jan 2011 #30
Actually,it's called 'Polish Reality'...Learn to live with it

LOL - sounds like exactly why the problem continues to exists.

Why should ANYONE put up with rudeness and bad service? You are PAYING for this.

Unbelievable.


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