Second Railway Development congress held in Warsaw

The president pointed out that "huge money" had been earmarked for the railway's development. Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Opening the 2nd Railway Development Congress at Warsaw's National Stadium on Wednesday, President Andrzej Duda described the railway as being of strategic importance to Polish industry, the military and the whole national economy.

Duda went on to say the railway has and will continue to have significance for the shaping of policy and gaining an advantage, including on the international arena. "Looking at the history of the last 30 years, it can be said that the railway first found itself in great decline and later slowly started to come back," the president said, expressing hope that the railway would "pick up speed" and that in the coming decade "no one could stop this train."

The president pointed out that "huge money" had been earmarked for the railway's development. "It could have been spent on other aims, but it is earmarked for the railway," he said. "I would like you to appreciate that."

Duda continued to say that connections that have been lost over the last 30 years would not only be replaced but complemented with new ones and that if some connections turned out to be unprofitable, they would receive subsidies. He also focused on plans to build out Poland's ports, saying: "We want (...) to build out primarily the ports in Gdynia and Gdańsk."

He also highlighted that the railway is at the avant-garde of electric transport and pro-climate policy, hence its prospects are very optimistic and more promising than road transport.

Infrastructure Minister Andrzej Adamczyk also addressed the Congress, stating that in 2019 the Polish railway carried a record number of passengers at 335 million against 280 million in 2018. Producers and the executive branch have full order books, the infrastructure minister stated. "We talk positively about the Polish railway," he said. "We're turning our dreams into reality."