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Vienna to Krakow by train

We would like to travel from Vienna to Krakow in mid July, on the 8:10 train, which requires no transfers. When I look on the website (OBB), tickets have not yet been made available, though other, later ones, are available on that day. Does anyone have any information or knowledge about this that they can share? Thanks so much!

Posted by
2007 posts

This train is operated by PKP, Polish Railways, and tickets will be available not earlier than 30 days before departure.

Posted by
2007 posts

I thought it was a regular daily EuroCity train at 8:10

Yes, it is. But that does not say anything about which train operator is responsible.

Posted by
19 posts

That's helpful. It took me a bit of clicking about to find the official website. It seems like it would be easy to overpay on the wrong site!

Posted by
2007 posts

... it would be easy to overpay on the wrong site!

"Wrong" sites are those of third-party ticket resellers. Aways book on the offical sites of the train operators.

For border crossing trains, i.e. having departure and destination in different countries, usually you can book in either country. It is advisable to check and compare the price in both countries as there can be a significant difference.

In your particular case, you can either use the Austrian or the Polish web site.

Posted by
1950 posts

Note that the train is not operated by PKP while in Austria. In Austria all long distance public trains are operated by ÖBB. And that even if the markings on the car say PKP or DB or CD or MAV or SBB...

So in the case of EC 104 the train is operated by OBB till the Czech border, by CD from there to the Polish border, and from there on by PKP. The carriages will be a mixture of Czech and Austrian, and a Czech locomotive will pull it till Bohumin, where a Polish locomotive will take over.

An old fashioned international train service, like they have been operating for decades...

As to what is the right place to buy a ticket: Usually the operator responible for the train at the station you plan to board it is a good choice. In most cases this just means "the national railway of the country the trip starts in". So you can book this with ÖBB. However the other operators involved can usually sell tickets as well. Sometimes it pays to compare.

As to why that train is not bookable yet for dates in mid July, where others are? Well I do not know. My hunch is indeed that the others take different routes, and that this direct train has not opened for booking yet. Try again later. Worst case you end up buying the ticket at the station in Wien.

Posted by
2007 posts

When I wrote that the train is operated by PKP I meant that it is logistically operated, not physically.

It is clear that an Austrian (OeBB) engine will pull the train as long it is in Austria, as well as Austrian conductors will be on the train until the border, before switching to Czech railways (CD).

As to why that train is not bookable yet for dates in mid July, where others are? Well I do not know.

But it is solely PKP's decision at what date the booking will start for that train. As I have explained in my previous post, booking will start 30 days prior to departure. From this date on booking options will show up on both OeBB's and PKP's website.

Again, it may be worth to compare the ticket prices on either website.

Posted by
1950 posts

I do not know what you mean with "logistically operated" by PKP. You will notice that you can buy tickets for that train for trips within Austria and the Czech Republic now already without any issues. It is treated as just any other domestic train within those countries. And tickets for trips from Austria to the Czech Republic are also already available. Its just to Poland that tickets are not available yet. Maybe the PKP system does not accept requests for a ticket certificate until one month before travel...

Posted by
2007 posts

Maybe the PKP system does not accept requests for a ticket certificate until one month before travel...

Yes, that is the case, and PKP's booking system says so. PKP has decided, for whatever reason, not to allow earlier booking. And all websites of other train operators must abide by this decision, which is obviously the purview of PKP, which I described colloquially as logistically responsible.

Posted by
39 posts

Hey Runnergirl - please circle back here after your trip, as I have the exact same question. I have been exploring every avenue - train, private transfer, car rental (which I have never done in Europe before) and the short flight between cities. I am now leaning toward the flight! I would love to hear what you decide and how it worked out. Please share and have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
6411 posts

Well, for all the foregoing discussion, I hope that Runnergirl has now made her booking as both PKP and OBB now have bookings open for that service on their websites for the whole of July.
Whether there is any fare difference between the 2 websites I haven't calculated- PKP may be cheaper than OBB

Posted by
19 posts

Hello everyone, I did buy my tickets. I used OBB, forgetting to check, and I believe I paid about $30 more. :-(
The early train is about 5 1/2 hours, so not too bad.

Posted by
295 posts

Bumping this to ask (forgive if I’m missing the obvious) but are tickets considerably less costly in person in Poland than via the PKP site?

Posted by
2007 posts

There may be a price difference between the OeBB and PKP website. I don't think that you get a cheaper price when buying a ticket in person.