The influence of COVID-19 on international and long-distance passenger rail transport. The cases of Italy and Poland – the first observations

Jakub Taczanowski


The objective of the article is to present the influence of COVID-19 on international and long distance passenger rail transport in Italy and Poland. Despite differences in the development of the pandemic the decision to put limits on long-distance rail services was taken in both countries at the very same time. On 23 March 2020 the last large-scale cancellations so far were introduced both in Italy and Poland. The entire rail transport in the two countries has been stopped to a very large extent. The only remaining international trains in Italy and Poland are cross-border regional trains operated by some railway companies from the neighbouring countries – France and Switzerland in the case of Italy and Germany in the case of Poland. As far as long-distance rail traffic is concerned, in Italy over 90% of all trains of this kind have been cancelled whereas in Poland the figure is 43%. A similar characteristic is the fact that almost all prestigious high speed trains have been cancelled. This is probably connected with the fact that their main target are business trips which in the time of pandemic have come almost to a complete stop.

Słowa kluczowe: COVID-19, rail transport, passenger transport, long-distance trains, high speed rail, Italy, Poland

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