Revitalisation of Inner-Urban Freight Rail Hubs

Railway hubs for Warsaw

02 May 2024
Technical details

Growing metropolitan Warsaw region needs to be sourced by many goods but transporting them by trucks would increase traffic jams. Would railways solve this problem?

We discuss with Mr. Marek Chmurski -about the idea of freight rail hubs

Why dealing with inner-urban freight rail transport is relevant for your metropolitan region?

Like in the whole country, inner-urban freight and urban logistics is a growing issue in Warsaw. There are many local shops in every district and at the same time the e-commerce service is rising. Still, to make the deliveries to the shops and parcel lockers, which are very popular in Poland, more inhabitant-friendly we have to make delivery vehicles smaller (small tracks to 3,5 T or cargo bikes).

With the idea of urban freight rail hubs, the main task to reduce traffic generated by big trucks inside the city can be reached. Of course, in Warsaw we don’t have big choice with localization dedicated inner rail logistic centres, but every accessible opportunity might be used to develop this vision.

What are major challenges to overcome?

Warsaw, with ca. 1,8 mil inhabitants and Warsaw Metropolitan Region with ca. 3,3 mil is still growing. Accordingly, there is a huge demand on accommodation and offices. That is the reason why in many places where 15 years ago existed railway infrastructure, now there are apartment blocks or offices (especially the western Wola district). So, the current challenge for Warsaw is to redevelop the remaining rail infrastructure not yet served by housing, in time. At the same time implementing the UrbFRail project will serve the National Strategy goal is to increase the intermodal railway transport to 10 % of all goods in 2030. Currently this is challenging, because the modal shift for railway transport of goods is decreasing (probably also due to the coronavirus pandemic).

What do you expect to gain from collaborating in UrbFRail with other metropolitan regions in the Baltic Sea Region?

We hope that it can provide an exchange of experience with those cities, probably having already implemented an inner-city urban hub or are in the process. We can investigate common problems and try to see a common solution.

Did you consider any location in Warsaw metropolitan region as relevant for freight rail hub?

The idea of rail hub was considered in our strategic discussions several times. On a base of our experience the area of Młociny district (close to ironworks) would be interesting, just because both rail and road infrastructure we have there are accessible. The surveys conducted within UrbFRail project helped us to better understand the complexity of the potential project and pay attention to important aspects of it. Due to this, the idea of freight rail hub is getting more and more inspiring.


The area under investigation is located in the North of Warsaw, close to the steelworks ArcelorMittal Warsaw.