Analysis of the Rail Transport Market in Poland
Purpose: The study's objective is to evaluate the changes observed in the rail transport market in Poland. The analysis covers both the market of freight services and the conditions of passenger transport. The materials used in the analysis consist of records of the Central Statistical Office (GUS) and record sheets and reports of the Railway Transport Office (UTK). The studied period covers the years 2010-2019. Design/Methodology/Approach: A two-step process undertook the research. The first step involved an analysis of changes in the market of freight services. The analysis was performed via an evaluation of freight's total mass, the volume of transport activity (performance), and the volume of train operations. The scope of changes on the market of intermodal freight transport was analyzed in detail. The second step was an examination of changes in the market of passenger transport. Here, the assessment involved the number of passengers carried and individual rail carriers' involvement in the execution of the transport process. Also, the drivers of rail utilization rate differentiation were investigated. Findings: Concerning rail freight transport, an area of particular intensity is intermodal transport. Over the period 2010-2019, there was an over the four-fold rise in the total mass of freight and the number of transport units. The analysis conducted in the field of passenger transport showed its growing importance. The rail utilization rate demonstrated that, statistically, every Polish resident traveled by train more than 8 times per year. The above results tended to increase year by year. Practical Implications: The conducted analysis indicates that thanks to intermodal freight transport, rail transport can be highly competitive when it comes to other modes of transport. It is becoming an interesting alternative also to road trips. Rail popularization is in the hands of public transport associations in individual regions. By developing regular timetables and frequency of transport services, the purchase and retrofitting of rolling stock can contribute to the industry's growth. Originality/Value: The study presents the core factors affecting rail freight and passenger transport development. The analysis of rail utilization in individual regions could provide a basis for strategic decision-making regarding rail transport policy development directions. This may pertain not only to state-wide but also to local activities.