GERMAN Rail (DB) and Polish Railways (PKP) have signed agreements to further their cooperation and improve cross-border passenger services between Germany and Poland, as well as reaffirming their support for Ukraine.

The agreements were signed at the 5th German-Polish Rail Summit in Potsdam, Germany, by DB CEO, Dr Richard Lutz, and high-ranking representatives of PKP. The officials also discussed the status of construction projects with the transport ministries of both countries, at the invitation of Mr Dietmar Nietan, coordinator for German-Polish inter-societal and cross-border cooperation at the German Federal Foreign Office.

The railways are working to improve passenger services offer on the Berlin - Frankfurt (Oder) - Kraków - Przemyśl route increasing services from one to two in each direction per day. Services on the Berlin - Poznan - Warszawa route are to be increased to a service every two hours, with six trains a day from June 2023.

The line from Angermünde in Germany to the Polish border is being upgraded to reduce the journey time from Berlin to Szczecin by 30 minutes to 1h 30min by 2026. This includes track doubling, electrification and the installation of ETCS.

At the summit, both railways reaffirmed their support for Ukrainian Railways (UZ) and the people of Ukraine.

“From the start of the criminal invasion, we have been in close communication with our partners at PKP about how we can help,” Lutz says. “We are cooperating on the rail bridge that has been used since March 2022 to bring humanitarian aid directly to the areas affected by the war.

“Together, DB and PKP have ensured that hundreds of thousands of people have been able to leave the war zones safely. Half a million refugees have used our Help-Ukraine ticket. The European railway family is strong and will continue to support our Ukrainian colleagues together wherever possible.”