Hi, guy confused by Poland trains back again. My wife and I need to get from Wroclaw to Goerlitz, Germany on a Sunday in May. The time table listed in Rick's book http://www.rozklad-pkp.pl shows an 18:19 train to Zgoeelc (the town on the Polish side), but the actual booking site https://www.intercity.pl/pl/ does not show this route, the search fails. I am pretty sure that when I previously searched for this on the latter site, the route used to appear. There is a once-daily bus that's at a reasonable early evening time, but we prefer to take the train. (We're already taking the bus from Krakow to Wroclaw the morning of the same day, due to train schedules being less plentiful due to construction in the area of the tran station in Krakow). Can anyone lend insight that might help us sort this out?
When I visited Poland in 2012 and took trains all the way down from Gdansk to Krakow, I found the website schedules were constantly changing. Maybe that's still the case. The Polish website schedules did not match the ones on bahn.com which is unusual in my experience.
I'd probably wait until you get to Poland and buy your tickets from an agent there or at least from a machine. (I think you can buy tickets for most trains in Poland from any train station, so you don't have to wait til you get to Wroclaw.) If it turns out the trains really are screwed up, you can take the bus as a backup - and hope you get to figure this out a few days in advance before tickets sell out or something.
I manged just fine with the Polish trains in 2012 (first class all the way if possible, except maybe on the expensive express trains, some of which didn't exist yet in 2012). But the service was definitely a step down from that in other European countries. In one case, my train (from Torun to Wroclaw, change somewhere in between) was delayed because the one 1st class carriage had a bad wheel - they had to yank that car from the whole train and go without any first class service. I had to find a free seat in second class with my first class ticket - something the four-across passengers in the compartments didn't seem too happy about). And then a Polish-speaking conductor came through the train announcing something I couldn't understand. What she was saying, another passenger finally told me in English, was that Wroclaw passengers (of which I was one) should get off in Poznan instead of the original connection - they were holding the train for us in Poznan, otherwise I would have missed my connection and gotten to Wroclaw hours later. (If you aren't a native speaker, the pronunciation of "Wroclaw" isn't exactly intuitive.) Lucky I figured that out just before we got to Poznan and made it to this earlier train.
Obviously if you have a reserved seat in a carriage you probably ought to find it, but note that some of the Polish trains can split off at some stop and two sections go in separate directions. In the past I've just hopped on any carriage at the station just to get on (like if I was late) and then find my way to the right carriage and find my seat (or if the train isn't full, sit anywhere). In Gdansk I had to make sure I got on the right part of the train, so I wouldn't take the wrong section after it split!
I have always found the information on the PKP site accurate. I'm reasonably confident the answer is that tickets for this connection cannot be booked via the internet, having only regional services. I have tried the Intercity site, and it doesn't recognize the destination Zgorzelec. Go to Wroclaw station and buy the tickets at the window, or on the train at a small surcharge. But the people at Kraków station will undoubtedly be able to help you out.
You wouldn't be taking an intercity train. Those are high speed trains linking major cities like Warsaw and Krakow. Zgorzelec is just a town of 30,000 or so. So you should be looking at the national http://www.rozklad-pkp.pl/ site. I just looked on a random May Sunday (May 13) and found many departures, including one that leaves Wrocław Główny at 18:19 and arrives Zgorzelec Miasto at 20:25. It's numbered KD 5794 and it's a local train, only 2nd class is available. Duration of 2:06. The site allows you to export a PDF showing all the intermediate stops. You cannot purchase the ticket ahead of time. By the way, if you click on that 5794 route hyperlink, it shows going all the way to Görlitz. So you should probably buy a ticket all the way to Görlitz.
I think you have to get out of the thinking that everything, including local train tickets, can be purchased in advance and known with 100% certainty way in advance. It just doesn't work that way in many places in the world. You just show up at the train station, look at the schedule, and buy a ticket.
According to www.bahn.com, the 18:19 train continues all the way to Goerlitz, so no need to stop at Zgorzelec if Goerlitz is your final destination.
Thanks everyone for your responses. I am not necessarily fixated on purchasing in advance, I did want to make sure the train we want exists though. It makes sense that http://www.rozklad-pkp.pl would not include this route if that site excludes regional trains. I must have been confused thinking that I had seen the regional train on the intercity site. I am not new to this, just these sites do not lend a sense of confidence with their user experience. For a tight part of our itinerary it pays to research these things in advance rather than trying to figure it out on the fly. Sounds like it's fine, thanks again.
Acknowledged, I pasted in the wrong URL in my last post.
We have traveled via train several times here. Gorlitz is on the Poland side, and Zgorlece is in Poland. Basically, the town was split at the river between Germany and Poland in 1945. We have had different scenarios here. One time, ...~ 3 years ago, there were train issues between Germany and Poland. The train wouldn’t travel from Goerlitz to Zgorlece. So we got off train in Goerlitz, , took bus (from train station, as German taxi wouldn’t cross border) across river to train station and resumed train travel in Zgorlece.
Last year we were in Berlin wanting to get to Wroclaw. The train via Goerlitz had several changes...one with only 5 minutes change. So I switched train Berlin to Dresden, then Dresden to Wroclaw. The Dresden train stopped in Goerlitz, but no change...just same train all the way to Wroclaw. Makes no sense.....so try a different destination....like Bautzen or Dresden. May get different schedule!
I just checked the PL. train table Wroclaw Glowny (Glowny is the main train station) > Goerlitz, and there was one change. Both trips by train....one time we had train, then bus. Right this moment it looks ok.
I used this site>>>>> rozklad-pkp/pl
Good luck!, Poland travel can get confusing. I may be wrong...but there is a train schedule site fir within country, and another crossing the border. Cheers! Martha