This paper describes how the rapid growth of passenger traffic in Poland and other European countries is mainly observed on the road. This situation produces a strong environmental impact. Internal air transport in Poland is practically non-existent. For internal connections this transport mode probably will not play an important role in the future. It follows that only the rapid rail network should be taken into account when looking at ways to decrease environmental impact. In this paper the basic results of the study on the high-speed railway network in Poland are presented. There are four basic corridors: two in the east–west and two in the north–south direction. As a first stage the Warszawa–Katowice/Krakow High-Speed Line (HSL) should be taken into account. This line may be considered as a part of the VI Pan European Corridor. In addition, the conventional railway line Warszawa–Radom–Kielce– Krakow/Katowice will be in the same corridor. The railway line Warszawa–Katowice/Krakow was designed as the main Polish line more than 30 years ago. The design speed was 250 km/h and – partly – 200 km/h. Now the maximum operational speed is 160 km/h only. The lack of adequate trains (especially locomotives) is one of the reasons for this situation. Amongst others are: the classical control system, the existence of 24-level crossings, etc. A detailed technical and economical study is now being carried out. The paper presents the basic results of investigation on the Warszawa–Katowice/Krakow high-speed line. As a conclusion further investigations on the HSL network in Poland are also described.
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