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German trains cross Polish border

German trains in Poland

Swinoujscie, Poland - German trains began operating on Polish soil on Saturday, reviving a railway line that had been ripped up six decades ago when the Oder-Neisse line became the border between the two nations. A blue-and-white multiple-unit train arrived in Swinoujscie at Poland's end of the island of Usedom, where it was welcomed by mayor Janusz Zmurkiewicz.

The 1.4-kilometre extension line was built by UBB, a subsidiary of German railway giant Deutsche Bahn, which operates passenger services on Usedom, a Baltic island popular with German holidaymakers.

For decades, the border had been sealed. The old rail line was removed, with Poland wary of any German presence in what had been German territory until 1945.

The two nations confirmed the border in 1990 and customs checks ended last year. People in swimsuits now stroll along a beach between the two nations without even noticing there is a border, and German sightseers crowd Swinoujscie in the summer.

UBB said it had invested 3 million euros to rebuild the line, then waited most of this year for the necessary permits from Poland to actually begin the half-hourly rail service.

Zmurkiewicz said he hoped the line would ensure more tourist income into his city of 40,000, where the key industries are tourism and port services. Until 1945, Swinoujscie was the principal German town on Usedom and went under the German name Swinemuende.

Regular rail services were to begin Sunday.

Another German municipality, the city of Frankfurt, decided last year to pay for and build a cross-border tram line in Slubice, the Polish town which faces it on the eastern bank of the Oder river.

That river and the Neisse river mark the main line of the border.


D.P.A

Re: German trains cross Polish border

I had no idea that German trains did not operate in Poland. Foreign trains certainly have for many years. You can take the orient express to krakow and warsaw. Not sure the nationality of the Paris Warsaw express. Was it a Polish train? It used to run in the 80s. It used to go through Berlin and then onto Warsaw. It wasn't particularly luxurious so maybe it was Polish...