How can a new Polish airport become a rail freight hub?

Image: KPF (KOHN PEDERSEN FOX ASSOCIATES PC)

Have you ever heard of the Solidarity Transport Hub under development in Poland? This new airport location is more than it sounds since it will bundle air, rail and road activities in one hub. How could rail freight benefit from it, and how could it serve the shared plans of the EU and NATO regarding military mobility?

The Solidarity Transport Hub (STH) is also known as the New Central Polish Airport, estimated to be ready in 2027 to replace Warsaw’s Chopin Airport. Its location is in Stanisławów, between Warsaw and Łódz in Central Poland.

A first glance at the project helps understand that plans involving it are pretty ambitious. Apart from becoming Poland’s largest airport, STH will also bring together air, rail and road transport, becoming a passenger and freight rail traffic node.

Railway component

STH’s transport system will have three components, and rail is one of them. “The STH railway system will be based on approximately 2,000 km of new high-speed rail (HSR) lines and 3,700 km of modernised railway lines. Completing the STH railway program is one of the biggest ongoing engineering projects in Central Europe”, says the company.

Passenger traffic will be one of the primary focus areas. The airport’s railway station is estimated to serve 40 million passengers per year, providing fast and frequent connections with nearby locations and bringing distant destinations closer to Central Poland.

Intermodal hub

Nevertheless, with modern rail infrastructure in place, passenger traffic could not be the only rail traffic variant of STH. “A significant advantage of STH will also be intermodality and an excellent connection of the airport with every part of Poland and countries all over Europe, especially its central and eastern part. The Solidarity Transport Hub will be part of a rail hub at the centre of a new 1981 km long network. Thanks to these elements, it will be possible to reload equipment or goods onto rail in no time. This way, it will be possible to move people or cargo efficiently from the centre of Poland to any part of Europe”, explains STH.

This is also confirmed by NATO’s praise of the new facility. Military mobility has been in the news lately due to the war in Ukraine. European states and NATO have underlined the necessity for sufficient infrastructure to facilitate military movements across the continent. Rail infrastructure is critical since it plays a role in transporting troops, equipment and heavy vehicles.

“We need depth and redundancy in transportation infrastructure. The STH project will add a capability and capacity that no other node in Poland (or elsewhere in Eastern Europe) can match”, commented American general Ben Hodges when discussing military mobility in Europe.

In general, the EU Military Mobility fund currently invests hundreds of million euros in rail infrastructure. Rail freight will benefit in the long run since an optimised European railway network will only bring positive results to the rail freight market and possibly eliminate many bottlenecks.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is the Chief Editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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How can a new Polish airport become a rail freight hub? | RailFreight.com

How can a new Polish airport become a rail freight hub?

Image: KPF (KOHN PEDERSEN FOX ASSOCIATES PC)

Have you ever heard of the Solidarity Transport Hub under development in Poland? This new airport location is more than it sounds since it will bundle air, rail and road activities in one hub. How could rail freight benefit from it, and how could it serve the shared plans of the EU and NATO regarding military mobility?

The Solidarity Transport Hub (STH) is also known as the New Central Polish Airport, estimated to be ready in 2027 to replace Warsaw’s Chopin Airport. Its location is in Stanisławów, between Warsaw and Łódz in Central Poland.

A first glance at the project helps understand that plans involving it are pretty ambitious. Apart from becoming Poland’s largest airport, STH will also bring together air, rail and road transport, becoming a passenger and freight rail traffic node.

Railway component

STH’s transport system will have three components, and rail is one of them. “The STH railway system will be based on approximately 2,000 km of new high-speed rail (HSR) lines and 3,700 km of modernised railway lines. Completing the STH railway program is one of the biggest ongoing engineering projects in Central Europe”, says the company.

Passenger traffic will be one of the primary focus areas. The airport’s railway station is estimated to serve 40 million passengers per year, providing fast and frequent connections with nearby locations and bringing distant destinations closer to Central Poland.

Intermodal hub

Nevertheless, with modern rail infrastructure in place, passenger traffic could not be the only rail traffic variant of STH. “A significant advantage of STH will also be intermodality and an excellent connection of the airport with every part of Poland and countries all over Europe, especially its central and eastern part. The Solidarity Transport Hub will be part of a rail hub at the centre of a new 1981 km long network. Thanks to these elements, it will be possible to reload equipment or goods onto rail in no time. This way, it will be possible to move people or cargo efficiently from the centre of Poland to any part of Europe”, explains STH.

This is also confirmed by NATO’s praise of the new facility. Military mobility has been in the news lately due to the war in Ukraine. European states and NATO have underlined the necessity for sufficient infrastructure to facilitate military movements across the continent. Rail infrastructure is critical since it plays a role in transporting troops, equipment and heavy vehicles.

“We need depth and redundancy in transportation infrastructure. The STH project will add a capability and capacity that no other node in Poland (or elsewhere in Eastern Europe) can match”, commented American general Ben Hodges when discussing military mobility in Europe.

In general, the EU Military Mobility fund currently invests hundreds of million euros in rail infrastructure. Rail freight will benefit in the long run since an optimised European railway network will only bring positive results to the rail freight market and possibly eliminate many bottlenecks.

Also read:

You just read one of our premium articles free of charge

Want full access? Take advantage of our exclusive offer

See the offer

Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is the Chief Editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

Add your comment

characters remaining.

Log in through one of the following social media partners to comment.