How long would it take to travel 300km to another city for 2 hours business meeting and then get back? In Western Europe it is 5 to 7 hours depending on means of transport. In place where I live it would be mission::impossible. Let me tell you how PKP, national railways, gives a middle finger to passengers.
Traveling from Cracow, city of medieval kings, to Warsaw, modern capital of Poland, has been logistic and temper challenge since I remember. Travelling by car is not an option, unless you want to spend over 4-5 hours behind the wheel, one way. Yes, there is no highway that would help. In fact, we have barely no highways in poland, heritage of communism and reality of incapable governments in last two decades. But we have direct express train. In France such distance is a matter of a bit more than one hour journey. Cracow-Warsaw train, according to timetable, needed so far 2h40m. In last couple months, due to railway repairs as they say, it always been late by 20-30 minutes! Now PKP has solved the problem: new timetable shows run time 3h05m. Congratulations! I bet managers paid themselves respective bonuses, giving even bigger fuck to all passengers than before. What is more, my train was still late by another 10 minutes (3h15m). Ridiculous, isn’t it?
But this is not the end of the story. From new timetable off peak connections just disappeared. I used to go to Warsaw at 8:00am and catched train back some time betwen 2pm and 4pm. Now you will not find express train to Warsaw between 7am and 10am, and returning between 1pm and 4pm. Later return options are 4:00pm, 4:30pm, then 6pm and last one at 9pm. Krakow-Warsaw is most profitable connection in my opinion; every day thousands businessmen are travelling between these two business centers. Meanwhile dumbasses in PKP management see no value in more flexible connections. Apparently they do not care about overcrowded wagons. I wish I could say fuck you but there is no real alternative.
I am back home at 8:30pm, pissed off and tired of 14 hour long struggle with the system. Let me be fair however, I was in worse situations before. I have been to place, where purchasing train ticket requires waiting half day in queue at train station to get ticket on your name; one day I will tell you bit more about Ukraine.