Border Crossings: Poland - Russia

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All the crossings below are with the detached territory of the Kaliningrad Oblast. Note that there is either a one hour or two hour time difference between Poland and the Kaliningrad Oblast as the Oblast, being part of Russia, is on permanent Summer Time.

Braniewo PKP - Mamonowo RŽD (- Kaliningrad)

[D] Two parallel single-tracks of different gauge, [see Unusual Lines entry RU20/1 for details of separate approach routes to Kaliningrad]. The 1435mm gauge line was used by a seasonal Berlin – Gdynia – Kaliningrad passenger service until it ceased running during 2012 and RŽD 1520mm gauge track in Poland ends at Transhipment sidings near Wielkie Wieżno as August 2013 images show it lifted by the closed station at Kurowo Braniewskie. Cross border freight was seen running on both gauges in July 2013.

RŽD works all BG cross border freight, and on the SG, prior to the 2012 passenger closure PKP worked to Mamonowo RŽD, with a RŽD standard gauge M62 diesel to and from Kaliningrad. Limited charters were known to have run after that date using PKP SM42's through to Kaliningrad, but what worked SG wagon freight in Russia is not known. There is no gauge changer at Braniewo, any transhipment is on parallel sidings and as at March 2022 PKP advised an average of 3 pairs of trains per day ran on the broad gauge and 2 pairs on the standard, but by January 2023 PKP quote all cross border traffic is on the broad gauge.

A Test passenger service bookable by the public between Kaliningrad and Gdynia with a change of train at Braniewo, [i.e. the RŽD DMU worked across the Border on the Broad Gauge] ran on 5 January 2018. Press coverage suggested this was a trial for cross border trains during the Football World Cup in June 2018 [as Kaliningrad hosted some Group games] but nothing materialised.

Bartoszyce PKP - Bagrationovsk RŽD (- Kaliningrad)

[D] Disused freight only line. 1435mm gauge track is severed just north of Bagrationovsk, 1520mm gauge tracks reached a factory just north of Bartoszyce (interlaced with the 1435mm gauge track). There has been no traffic on either gauge to the north of Bartoszyce since at least 1998, although an enthusiasts special managed to reach the Border on the standard gauge tracks in May 2003.

Skandawa PKP - Zheleznodorozhny RŽD

[D] Freight only with two parallel single-tracks of different gauge. PKP works on 1435mm to Zheleznodorozhny with standard gauge RŽD diesels onwards to exchange sidings to the south of Chernyakhovsk. In Poland 1520mm gauge extends to exchange sidings to the north and east of Skandawa station with a connecting standard gauge branch. Viewed in May 2003, no traffic crossed the border on the broad gauge but by Jan-22 this was quoted as 20 trains per month, reduced to 13 by Jan-23.

Use of the 1435mm tracks had been minimal but significantly increased by January 2022 to 53 per month following opening of a new transhipment terminal with capacity for 450,000 containers a year at Chernyakhovsk aimed at China to Europe traffic but with the Ukrainian War and EU sanctions on Russia this dropped to just 4 in January 2023.

See also