Autor: Łukasz Kuś for (2021/08/20)
Translated from Polish

Due to the lack of capacity of the railway border crossing Brest – Terespol, traffic on the New Silk Road begins to bypass Poland. For this reason, other passages need to be adapted to these transports, for example by enabling sanitary inspections – says Joanna Kujko, director of the RTSB GmbH branch in Poland.

How does the Brest-Terespol railway border crossing work from the point of view of the operator operating on the New Silk Road?

“The capacity of this railway border crossing is not sufficient. And it should be emphasized that this is the only crossing adapted to the implementation of all types of border checks; There is phytosanitary and veterinary control of products that are of plant, animal origin and those that come into contact with food, such as dishes, cutlery, kettles and many others. I do not understand why a sanitary point has not yet been established at other railway border crossings. And it must be remembered that these controls on the Polish eastern border are very strict. Małaszewicze can handle 16 pairs of trains a day. Unfortunately, in August, PKP PLK started renovation works at the Terespol station, therefore the capacity of this crossing was limited.”

In addition, the container handling infrastructure on the eastern border is not adequate. I am afraid that carriers will soon choose other routes and Poland will lose most of the transit transport, as exemplified by the operators who use sea connections via Kaliningrad.

However, in the coming years, it is planned to modernize the crossing and the entire reloading area.

“The investment plans in the Małaszewicze area are already a bit late, as the New Silk Road has been in operation for over a dozen years, and from 2015 we can talk about a boom in this transport. Regular weekly reports already exist. On the other hand, the growing traffic caused congestion both at the Brest-Terespol border and at the Sino-Kazakhstan border. There, reloading from Chinese wagons to broad-gauge wagons takes place, as well as border controls. The Kazakh services carefully check all documents and if there are any irregularities, it happens that the parcels are stopped. The Chinese-Kazakh border is the first bottleneck on the New Silk Road and you sometimes have to wait there for reloading.”

The flow of loads on NJS is huge. RTSB has a very extensive network of connections and we already use routes alternative to Małaszewicze. In addition to the main route through Brest-Małaszewicze, our trains pass, for example, through the Kaliningrad District and the Mamonowo-Braniewo crossing. We also use the services of PKP LHS and trains to Euroterminal Sławków. We also use sea connections between Kaliningrad and Hamburg and Rotterdam.

So what to do so that the Polish economy could benefit from the boom in NJS transport?

“Poland should open more border crossings serving rail transport. There are several of them on the eastern border, but not all of them are adapted to serve the New Silk Road. Transit through Poland brings many benefits to our country. Creation of additional SANEPID border control points, among others at the crossings in Kuźnica, Siemianówka and Braniewo, it would definitely contribute to greater capacity. We could transport a lot of loads there.”