Any issues with train travel now? I've seen US news reports showing throngs of immigrants trying to board trains in Europe. Apparently Poland is not as crowded as some countries right now. Thank you.
You only see the pictures of the situation at some borders on the popular route from Greece to Germany. The train from München to Salzburg, which has been suspended for some time, is in service again, although with extra border controls.
Poland indeed doesn't see much refugees as do other countries in central and eastern Europe. They have been criticized for not taking up a fair share.
Refugees want to end up in wealthier countries with solid economies and welfare systems, i.e., Germany and Sweden. Poland is not exactly on the route to get there. They have no interest in immigrating to Poland, Hungary or other former Soviet satellite countries which are not as resource-rich.
No issues with refugees in Poland. They are almost entirely economic ones going through one safe country after another until they end up in Germany or Sweden which happened to be countries with highest welfare. It's not that Poland does not want to take fair share of them. They are not interested.
"The train from München to Salzburg, which has been suspended for some time, is in service again, although with extra border controls. "
The train? There is more than one train. According to the German Rail website, most express trains (RJ, IC, EC, EN) between Munich and Salzburg are cancelled in both directions (until Nov 1?), A few ECs are running.
There are Meridian (regional) trains running between Munich and Freilassing (just over the border from Salzburg, in Germany). It looks like the Meridian train is carrying passenger from Freilassing to Salzburg Hbf, with border controls, but returning without passengers to Freilassing. Austrian Rail is running some special shuttle trains, with border controls, from Salzburg Hbf to Freilassing Bhf.
There are no issues with train travel or refugees. Reportedly, we even lost most of the ones we had - they left as soon as Germany announced it would take them all.
- It's not that Poland does not want to take fair share of them* This is supposed to be a travel forum, and the situation changes quickly, but until very recently some of the central and eastern European countries were hesitant to absorb substantial numbers of refugees. And whether they should be regarded economical refugees or asylum seekers, turns out to be more a political point of view than a objective observation. And now back to the original question.
As far as Poland is concerned the situation does not change quickly because there is no 'situation' here at all. Even those that fled to Germany were such small numbers that were hardly noticeable and certainly did not caused any scrum for the trains.
Glad to hear that there is "no situation" in Poland as I'm planning for the next trip earmarked between May/June of 2016. Be creative with choosing the routes as to flank certain possible border closings. As long as a country's entire border is not closed, sealed off, day or night, it's doable.
We were just in Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Gdansk and Warsaw last week. We traveled by train to each of these locations. There were absolutely no issues. The trains were not crowded. We did not see any refugees. The stations were not crowded either. We had reservations for each leg of our journey, which I recommend. We traveled both 1st class and 2nd class, and no issues in either. There was no issue crossing the border from Germany into Poland. We didn't even stop at the border.
Don't believe all of the hype in the news right now. We have been to both countries in previous years, and there was no difference in this trip. We did not notice anything different, and the travel on the trains was as efficient and comfortable as always.
@ Christine...Thanks for the update. You must have passed through Berlin Ostbahnhof and Frankfurt an der Oder before crossing into Poland...nothing out of the ordinary at those two stations? Very good to know. Hopefully, it stays that way. Most likely, I'll be at Frankfurt an der Oder train station in early June and will walk across the bridge into Poland.
All the borders have been tightened up and that has helped a lot.
@Fred - Yes, we were in both of those stations. We actually took the Berlin-Warsaw express out of the Berlin Ostanbanhof station. Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. I don't think you will have any problems.