|Last service||14 December 2014|
|Former operator(s)||DB Fernverkehr, PKP Intercity|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
The Wawel was an international named express train. Introduced in 1995 as an InterCity service, it was upgraded to EuroCity status by operating PKP Intercity and DB Fernverkehr in 2006. The service was withdrawn at the end of 2014.
Express trains are a form of rail service. Express trains make only a small number of stops, instead of stopping locally. In some cases, trains run express where there is overlapping local train service available, and run local at the tail ends of the line, where there is no supplemental local service. During overnight hours, or other times where it is practical, express trains may become local, but still running to where an express train would terminate.
InterCity is the classification applied to certain long-distance passenger train services in Europe. Such trains generally call at major stations only.
EuroCity, abbreviated as EC, is a cross-border train category within the European inter-city rail network. In contrast to trains allocated to the lower-level "IC" (InterCity) category, EC trains are international services that meet 20 criteria covering comfort, speed, food service, and cleanliness. Each EC train is operated by more than one European Union or Swiss rail company, under a multilateral co-operative arrangement, and all EC trains link important European cities with each other.
The train linked Kraków and Wrocław in Poland with Berlin and Hamburg in Germany. It was named after the Wawel, the former residence of the Polish kings in Kraków.
Kraków, also spelled Cracow or Krakow, is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków was the official capital of Poland until 1596 and has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, economic, cultural and artistic life. Cited as one of Europe's most beautiful cities, its Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Wrocław is a city in western Poland and the largest city in the historical region of Silesia. It lies on the banks of the River Oder in the Silesian Lowlands of Central Europe, roughly 350 kilometres (220 mi) from the Baltic Sea to the north and 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Sudeten Mountains to the south. The population of Wrocław in 2018 was 639,258, making it the fourth-largest city in Poland and the main city of the Wrocław agglomeration.
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.
Initially, the Wawel ran between Kraków and Berlin, Germany. Trains ran from Kraków Główny railway station via Katowice to Wrocław and used the railway line to Szczecin up to the Rzepin rail hub, from where they ran on the Warsaw–Kunowice railway to the Polish-German border and Frankfurt (Oder). Between Frankfurt and Berlin, the Wawel ran on the Lower Silesian-Marcher Railway line.
Kraków Główny Osobowy is the largest and the most centrally located railway station in Kraków.
Katowice is a city in southern Poland, with a city-proper population of 297,197 making it the eleventh-largest city in Poland as of 2017 and is the center of the Katowice metropolitan area, which has approximately 2 million people.
Szczecin is the capital and largest city of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. Located near the Baltic Sea and the German border, it is a major seaport and Poland's seventh-largest city. As of June 2018, the population was 403,274.
In 2001, weekday services were extended from Berlin to Hamburg, while weekend services continued to run only between Kraków and Berlin. Trains then ran via Cottbus, passing the German-Polish border at Forst (Lausitz), and via Żary, Żagań, and Legnica to Wrocław. From 2010, trains ran from Żary via Węgliniec railway station. In December 2012, the eastern section of the route was cut back from Kraków to Wrocław, and in May 2013, the terminus of the western weekday extension was temporarily moved east, to Lüneburg.
Cottbus is a university city and the second-largest city in Brandenburg, Germany. Situated around 125 km (78 mi) southeast of Berlin, on the River Spree, Cottbus is also a major railway junction with extensive sidings/depots. Although only a small Sorbian minority lives in Cottbus itself, the city is considered as the political and cultural center of the Sorbs in Lower Lusatia.
Forst (Lausitz) is a border railway station located in Forst (Lausitz), Germany. The station is located on the Cottbus–Żary railway and the former Forst–Guben railway and Weißwasser–Forst railway.
The Wawel has never been able to achieve the journey times of those fast diesel multiple unit trains operated by the Deutsche Reichsbahn that ran on the line in the 1930s. Therefore, the number of passengers significantly decreased upon the construction of the parallel A18 and A18 autostradas in Poland. Services finally discontinued in December 2014.
A diesel multiple unit or DMU is a multiple-unit train powered by on-board diesel engines. A DMU requires no separate locomotive, as the engines are incorporated into one or more of the carriages. Diesel-powered single-unit railcars are also generally classed as DMUs. Diesel-powered units may be further classified by their transmission type: diesel–electric (DEMU), diesel–mechanical (DMMU) or diesel–hydraulic (DHMU).
The Deutsche Reichsbahn, also known as the German National Railway, the German State Railway, German Reich Railway, and the German Imperial Railway, was the name of the German national railway system created after the end of World War I from the regional railways of the individual states of the German Empire. The Deutsche Reichsbahn has been described as "the largest enterprise in the capitalist world in the years between 1920 and 1932", nevertheless its importance "arises primarily from the fact that the Reichsbahn was at the center of events in a period of great turmoil in German history."
Autostrada A18 is a short, planned motorway in southwestern Poland which is to run from the Polish/German border at Olszyna/Forst-Bademeusel and the German Bundesautobahn 15 to the Polish Autostrada A4. The highway is part of the European route E36 and the Pan-European corridor IIIA from Berlin to Wrocław.
The history of rail transport in Germany can be traced back to the 16th century. The earliest form of railways, wagonways, were developed in Germany in the 16th century. Modern rail history officially began with the opening of the steam-powered Bavarian Ludwig Railway between Nuremberg and Fürth on 7 December 1835. This had been preceded by the opening of the horse-drawn Prince William Railway on 20 September 1831. The first long-distance railway was the Leipzig-Dresden railway, completed on 7 April 1839.
The history of rail transport in Poland dates back to the first half of the 19th century when railways were built under Prussian, Russian, and Austrian rule. Of course, "divided Poland" in the 19th century was the territory of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and not that one of today's Republic of Poland. After Polish independence was declared on 11 November 1918, the independent Polish state administered its own railways until control was surrendered to German and Soviet occupiers during World War II.
Transport in Poland involves air, water, road and rail transportation. The country has a large network of municipal public transport, such as buses, trams and the metro. As a country located at the 'cross-roads' of Europe, Poland, with its highly developed economy, is a nation with a large and increasingly modern network of transport infrastructure.
Polskie Koleje Państwowe SA is the dominant railway operator in Poland. The company was founded when the former Polskie Koleje Państwowe state-owned operator was divided into several units based on the requirements laid down by the European Union. PKP SA is the dominant company in PKP Group collective that resulted from the split, and maintains in 100% share control, being fully responsible for management of all of the other PKP Group component companies. The group's organisations are dependent upon PKP SA, but proposals for privatisation have been made.
In the summer of 1939, weeks ahead of the Nazi German and Soviet invasion of Poland the map of both Europe and Poland looked very different from today. The railway network of interwar Poland had little in common with the postwar reality of dramatically changing borders and political domination of the Soviet-style communism, as well as the pre-independence German, Austrian and Russian networks which the Second Polish Republic had partially inherited in 1918 after the end of World War I. The most important junctions in the Polish territory in summer of 1939 were:
The Prussian Eastern Railway was the railway in the eastern Kingdom of Prussia until 1918. Its main route, approximately 740 kilometers (460 mi) long, connected the capital, Berlin, with the cities of Danzig (Gdańsk) and Königsberg (Kaliningrad). At Eydtkuhnen (Chernyshevskoye) it reached the German Empire's border with the Russian Empire. The first part of the line opened in 1851, reaching Eydtkuhnen in 1860. By March 1880 the total route length reached 2,210 kilometers (1,370 mi), with a main parallel route in the south via Bromberg (Bydgoszcz) and Thorn (Toruń) to Insterburg (Chernyakhovsk). The lines were the first part of the later Prussian State Railways.
The Polish railways network consists of around 18,510 kilometres (11,500 mi) of track as of 2015, of which the vast majority is electrified at 3 kV DC overhead.
Wrocław Główny is the largest and most important passenger station of the southwestern Polish city of Wrocław. Built in the mid-19th century near the centre of the city, until 1945 it was known as Breslau Hauptbahnhof. It also is the largest railway station of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship, located at the junction of several important routes.
Transport in Kraków is based around a fairly dense network of tramway and bus lines operated by a municipal company, supplemented by a number of private minibus operators. Local trains connect some of the suburbs. The bulk of the city’s historic area has been turned into a pedestrian zone with golf buggies, rickshaws and horse buggies; however, the tramlines run within a three-block radius. Rail connections are available to most Polish cities. Trains to Warsaw depart every hour. International destinations include Berlin, Bratislava, Prague, Hamburg, Lviv, Kiev, and Odessa (June–September). The main railway station is located just outside the Old Town District and is well-served by public transport.
High-speed rail service commenced in Poland on 14 December 2014, with the introduction of 20 non-tilting Pendolino trainsets operating on 4 designated lines radiating out from Warsaw. Polish State Railways started passenger service trains PKP Pendolino operating a speed 200 km/h on 80 km line Olszamowice-Zawiercie. From December 2017 there are two 200km/h sections, 136 km long in total. Polish state railways PKP launched the high-speed service under the Express Intercity Premium (EIP) brand name.
The Berlin–Wrocław railway was a German private railway that connected Berlin and Wrocław. It is one of the oldest lines in Germany, opened between 1842 and 1847 and acquired by the Prussian government in 1852. In 1920, it became part of the German national railways along with the rest of the Prussian state railways.
The Węgliniec–Roßlau (Elbe) railway is a mainline railway in Poland and the German states of Saxony, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt, originally built by the Berlin-Anhalt Railway Company and the Upper Lusatian Railway Company as part of the trunk line from Breslau to Magdeburg. It runs from Węgliniec via Niesky, Hoyerswerda, Falkenberg (Elster) and Wittenberg to Roßlau (Elbe). The line is sometimes called the Niederschlesische Gütermagistrale because it provides a direct connection from the province of Lower Silesia to Central Germany. The western section of the line is one of the oldest lines in Germany.
Poznań Główny, commonly called Dworzec Główny, is the main railway station for the city of Poznań, Poland's fifth largest city, and capital of the Greater Poland voivodeship.
The Central Rail Line, was completed on 23 December 1977 could have been the first high speed railway line in Europe. Designed for speeds of up to 250 km/h, the line goes from the city of Zawiercie in Zagłębie Dąbrowskie region of southern Poland, to Grodzisk Mazowiecki in the suburbs of Warsaw. Its length is 224 kilometers, and in the Polish rail system it is officially known as Rail Line Number 4. The line was originally built for rail freight transport, but it now carries InterCity and EuroCity long distance passenger services, mostly from Katowice and Kraków to Warsaw.
The Frankfurt (Oder) station is the main passenger station in Frankfurt (Oder). It is one of the most important railway stations in the German state of Brandenburg. It is served by regional and long-distance services and since 1945 it has been a border station for transport to and from Poland. The station has been substantially rebuilt several times. A building on the grounds of the first Frankfurt station, north of the current station, is heritage-listed, as are the Kiliansberg apartments, which were built as a railway settlement at the station forecourt, and a monument to railwaymen who fell in the First World War in the same area.
The Comenius has been the name of two distinct EuroCity (EC) international express trains, both of them originating, terminating or passing through Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.
The Upper Silesian Railway was one of the earliest railways in Silesia, and the first in the territories of partitioned Poland. It connected Wrocław (Breslau) in Lower Silesia with Mysłowice (Myslowitz) in Upper Silesia. The first section was opened in 1842 and the last in 1846, after which it ran until merged into the Prussian state railways in 1883.
Żary railway station is a railway station serving the town of Żary, in the Lubusz Voivodeship, Poland. The station opened in 1846 and is located on the Cottbus–Żary railway, Miłkowice–Jasień railway, Żary–Zielona Góra railway and Żary–Legnica railway. The train services are operated by Przewozy Regionalne and Koleje Dolnośląskie.
The Cottbus–Frankfurt (Oder) railway is a single-track main line in the German state of Brandenburg, which was originally built and operated by the Cottbus-Großenhain Railway Company and directly connects the two cities to each other. It runs from Cottbus via Peitz to Frankfurt (Oder). Only the section between Grunow and Frankfurt and a short section near Cottbus are still in operation. Trains running over the line now use the line to Guben and continue on the line of the former Lower Silesian-Mark Railway .
Guben station is a station of Guben in the German state of Brandenburg. It is at the junction of lines from Berlin to Wrocław via Frankfurt (Oder) and from Cottbus to Zbąszynek. The station building is surrounded by the tracks. Only the route between Frankfurt (Oder)–Cottbus is used by passenger services, while the line towards Zbąszynek is used for freight traffic.
The Warsaw–Kunowice railway is a Polish 475-kilometre long railway line, that connects Warsaw with Lowicz, Kutno, Poznań and further to the Polish-German border at Frankfurt an der Oder.