Border Crossings: Lithuania - Poland

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Note that there is a one hour time difference between Lithuania and Poland

(Šeštokai -) Mockava LG - Trakiszki PKP (- Suwałki)

[D] A standard gauge [1435 mm] track crosses the border, but from Mockava [LG] it is interlaced with Broad gauge track [1520 mm] to just south of Šeštokai. The standard gauge track then continues in Lithuania parallel to the broad gauge as far as Kaunas station, beyond which it is used for freight only and partly interlaced with the broad gauge to an Intermodal terminal at Palemonas which opened in October 2020.

From 11 December 2022 PKP IC pair "Hańcza" were extended daily from Suwałki cross border to Mockava for a booked interchange with a Lithuanian DMU service to/from Vilnius with through ticketing available. This is the first BG passenger use of tracks via Šeštokai from Kazlu Ruda since September 2013. The long-term plan is for a through Warsaw - Vilnius service once Rail Baltica SG tracks to Vilnius are completed, but to Kaunas first, but this was supposedly also linked to LG obtaining suitable standard gauge diesels. Then, a throwaway last paragraph Rail Baltica based article in December 2022 advised that a through standard gauge PKP operated service to Kaunas is planned from the 2023/24 timetable change so the broad gauge rails could soon go out of passenger use again...

An unexpected consequence of the "Hańcza" extension was the withdrawal of the through "weekend" Białystok - Kaunas SG service which had resumed after pandemic suspension on 1 July 2022 with one pair FSO northbound, SSuO southbound. This had commenced on 17 June 2016 operated by PKP diesel units running FSSuO. Note the former interchange island platform on the east side at Šeštokai (one platform face for each gauge) had been demolished by June 2016 so the through SG Kaunas trains were only able to call at Šeštokai from 6 October 2017 after a platform had been completed on new through standard gauge tracks on the west side of the station.

PKP had previously worked a daytime TLK service from Warszawa to the then limit of standard gauge track at Šeštokai until withdrawn on 15 December 2013. From 29 October 2000 to 28 May 2005 there was a through overnight passenger train between Warszawa and Vilnius, which used 25AN/S bogied coaches equipped with 'SUW2000' variable gauge wheelsets and changed gauge at Mockava. This GC is believed to have been removed with all transhipment of freight dealt with at Šeštokai.

In March 2019 Rail Baltica announced that, when the line is completed [estimated > 2026] they plan to run six daytime trains between Warszawa and either Tallinn or Vilnius, plus overnight Tallinn – Riga – Kaunas – Warszawa – Berlin and Vilnius – Kaunas – Warszawa – Berlin trains.

See also