Summary & Prologue
Income-Driven Demand for Air Travel
Air/Rail Modal Split: Competition or Symbiosis?
EU Injections and Priorities
Could Backwardness Offer an Advantage?
An Interim Solution
The International Dimension
Funding & Conclusion

An Interim Solution

Warsaw will need a new airport by 2012 or shortly after, when the present Okęcie airport reaches its peak of 12m pass./year. At the new location, two runways and the first section of the central terminal will do the job in the beginning.

But suppose the trans-European railway is not built in the next ten years. In this case, the existing two lines extending from Warsaw westwards at a sharp angle: the (more southern) old line to Katowice and the (more northern) line to Poznan (E20), which make up a triangle, could be fitted with short branches for the airport express to reach the station under the (partially completed) central terminal. There would be no need to reverse the train, since it could return to Warsaw by the other line. The same branches would allow long-distance trains to come in from Warsaw by, say, the northern line and, after a brief stop at the Airport station, continue along the other line (to Łódź etc.) or southwards, to Katowice or Cracow.

Existing and proposed transport routes west of Warsaw
Existing and proposed transport routes west of Warsaw

Such a provisional solution would be needed only if the trans-European HS line were to be delayed beyond 2015, in which case Poland should muster enough courage and money to initiate its construction over the roughly 100 km between the Warsaw junction and the outskirts of Łódź, on the way to Poznań and Berlin.

On its way to Warsaw, the future trans-European railway could join, with another pair of tracks, the existing Poznań–Łowicz–Warsaw (E20) line west of Błonie, with some adjustments for the tight curves of the old line.

The interim solution (old lines branching off to Airport) would result in travelling times of 20 min. from Warsaw and 40 min. from Lodz. With the direct HS line from Warsaw to Łódź, these times would be cut to 12 min. and 27 min., respectively. Once turned into a high-speed line and suitably upgraded over its final stretches, CMK would bring Katowice and Cracow within 55 min. of the Airport station. The same running time could be obtained for Poznań, once the trans-European railway comes close to that city.

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