Best prices Special offers for members of the PWE book club The cheapest delivery

Infrastructure development in Poland on railway freight routes between China and the European Union

This paper evaluates infrastructural investments in Poland and their impact on rail transport development between China and the European Union. Using data from diverse sources, including EU databases and the PKP database, the study employs a comprehensive methodology to explore railway transport, identifying main freight routes, understanding determinants, and recognizing barriers and challenges. Emphasis is placed on dependencies in route exchange, the consequences of the Russia–Ukraine conflict, data analysis in connections between cities, corridors, and their current state, and trends, barriers, and new initiatives, including crucial structural developments in Poland. Findings reveal dynamic growth in container railway freight since 2013. Poland, exceeding most EU states in rail intermodal transport growth, appears poised to be an "intermodal logistics hub" with planned modernization. The paper offers practical significance, providing insights for policymakers, railway operators, and logistics providers, identifying opportunities and challenges for enhancing railway freight competitiveness between China and the EU and encouraging collaboration among BRI stakeholders to address shared issues. The originality of the paper lies in the assessment of the railway freight routes between China and the EU, the Belt and Road Initiative, and its relationship with the infrastructural investments in Poland.

Download article
Keywords: Silk Road Economic Belt; Belt and Road Initiative; infrastructure development; rail infrastructure; China



Agreement on cooperation in the organization of container full-train freight within the China–Europe routes, between the railways of Poland, Belarus, Germany, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and Russia of 20 April 2017.

Andrzejczak, B. (2023). Motives and barriers to the development of logistics networks in the SME sector in Poland in the years 2019–2020. Gospodarka Materiałowa i Logistyka, (1), 51–57.

Berger, R. (2017). Study. Eurasian rail corridors. What opportunities for freight stakeholders? UIC, International Union of Railways.

Chen, X. (2022). Connection Meets Disruption: The China–Europe Freight Train and the War in Ukraine. Trinity College.

Chen, Z., & Li, X. (2021). Economic impact of transportation infrastructure investment under the Belt and Road Initiative. Asia Europe Journal, 19(Suppl 1), 131–159.

China Belt and Road Network. (2019). In 2018, 6300 China–Europe freight trains were operated, a year-on-year increase of 72%.

Directorate-General for Trade. (2023). European Union, Trade in goods with China. European Commission.

Doński-Lesiuk, J. (2022). Geopolitical changes in Central and Eastern Europe after February 24, 2022 – a logistics perspective. Gospodarka Materiałowa i Logistyka, (6), 20–28.

Eldem, T. (2022, October). Russia's War on Ukraine and the rise of the Middle Corridor as a third vector of Eurasian connectivity. Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP).

European Parliament. (2011). Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system. White Paper.

European Parliament. (2018a). EU steps up its strategy for connecting Europe and Asia. Press Release.

European Parliament. (2018b). Research for TRAN Committee: The new Silk Route – opportunities and challenges for EU transport.

Eurostat. (2023). (the date of access 04.12.2023).

García-Herrero, A. (Ed.) (2017). EU–China Economic Relations to 2025: Building a Common Future. Joint Report. The Royal Institute of International Affairs, China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Goulard, S. (2020). The Impact of the US–China Trade War on the European Union. Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, 12(1), 56–68.

Gürel, B., & Kozluca, M. (2022). Chinese investment in Turkey: The Belt and Road Initiative, rising expectations and ground realities. European Review, 30(6), 806–834.

Hillman, J. E. (2018). The Rise of China–Europe Railways. Report for Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

HKTDC. (2018). The Belt and Road Initiative.

Jakóbowski, J., Popławski, K., Kaczmarski, M. (2018). Kolejowy Jedwabny Szlak. Połączenia kolejowe UE–Chiny: uwarunkowania, aktorzy, interesy. Centre for Eastern Studies Papers, (72).

Kaczorek, M., Klikowski, M., Konarski, A., Lenart, S., Mikulski, B., Mokrzański, M., & Pyzik, M. (2018). Railway freight model – traffic model for the Polish Railways Company. Transport Miejski i Regionalny, (6), 20.

Komornicki, T., & Goliszek, S. (2023). New transport infrastructure and regional development of Central and Eastern Europe. Sustainability: Science Practice and Policy, 15(6), 5263.

Koopman, R. (2018). World Trade Statistical Review 2018. WTO.

Kopiec, A. C., Siguencia, L. O., Szostak, Z. G., & Marzano, G. (2019). Transport infrastructures expenditures and costs analysis: The case of Poland. Procedia. Computer Science, 149, 508–514.

Kruszyński, M., & Waniewska, A. (2018). Development and sources of financing of railway transport infrastructure in Poland in the years 1990–2016. Transport Economics and Logistics, 80, 129–137.

Mendez, A., Forcadell, F. J., & Horiachko, K. (2022). Russia–Ukraine crisis: China's Belt Road Initiative at the crossroads. Asian Business & Management, 21(4), 488–496.

Ministry of Development. (2017). Strategy for responsible development by 2020 (with a perspective until 2030).

Ministry of Infrastructure. (2015). Resolution No. 162/2015 of the Council of Ministers of 15 September 2015, as amended "National Railway Programme by 2023".

Pomfret, R. (2023). Connecting Eurasian supply chains the impact of Covid-19 and the Russia–Ukraine war on the EU–China rail landbridge. Italian Economic Journal, 9, 1049–1062.

Prebilič, V., & Jereb, V. (2022). Implications of the war in Ukraine on the Belt and Road Initiative. Journal of Geography, Politics and Society, 12(2), 1–7.

Putzger, I. (2017, December 11). Claims of a threat to subsidies casts a pall over booming Asia–Europe rail. The Load Star.

Resolution No. 173/2017 of the Council of Ministers of 7 November 2017 on the adoption of the Concept for the preparation and implementation of the investment project "Solidarity Port – Central Communication Port for the Republic of Poland".

Rokicki, B., Haddad, E. A., Horridge, J. M., & Stępniak, M. (2021). Accessibility in the regional CGE framework: The effects of major transport infrastructure investments in Poland. Transportation, 48(2), 747–772.

Siqi, J. (2022). What is the China–Europe Railway Express, and how much pressure is it under from the Ukraine crisis? South China Morning Post.

Song, D. (2016). New Eurasian Land Bridge: Achievements & Challenges. 2nd Conference of the Ministers of Transport (TMM) and Business Forum, 26.10.2016, Warsaw.

Statista. (2021). China–Europe–China: Rail container traffic.

Vinokurov, E., Lobyrev, V., Tikhomirov, A., & Tsukarev, T. (2018). Silk Road Transport Corridors: Assessment of Trans-EAEU Freight Traffic Growth Potential. Report 49. Euroasian Development Bank, Centre for Integration Studies.

Wengel, M., & Galla, E. (2021). The analysis of passenger carriage in Polish air transport in 2011–2018 (part 2). Gospodarka Materiałowa i Logistyka, (6), 14–22.

Wołek, M. (2018). Sustainable mobility planning in Poland. Transport Economics and Logistics, 76, 13–22.

WTO. (2018). World Trade Statistical Review 2018. World Trade Organization.

Zhao, J. (2017). Over 6,200 train trips made between China, Europe in 6 years. XinhuaNet.

Article price
Price of the magazine number
113.00 €
Lowest price in last 30 days: 91.00
get subscription