Infrastructure

Road transport

When analysing the access to transport, it should be remembered that the road infrastructure is largely influenced by the fact that Poland is situated in a transit zone. Particularly privileged are regions crossed by the Pan-European transport corridors, in some way guaranteeing the development of motorways. Silesia is one of such regions, being crossed by Trans-European routes, namely corridor No. 3 (Berlin – Wrocław – Katowice – Kraków – Lvov) and corridor No. 6 (Gdańsk – Katowice – Żylina). The Silesian Voivodeship is recognised as an area with very good access to transport, not only thanks to the main routes, but also because of the high concentration of road infrastructure. The region has well-developed urban transport network, with 338.6 km of streetcar lines. A crucial role in the communication structure of the Silesian Voivodeship is played by the Upper Silesian Voivodeship. It is the crossing point of the A-4 highway and the Cross-town Road Route (Drogowa Trasa Średnicowa, DTŚ). Total traffic volumes in this direction are likely to reach in the near future around 150,000 vehicles per 24 hours. The routes have different functions – the highway is used for long-distance traffic, whereas DTŚ operates mainly local traffic and is to play the role of an inter-city route (it is called a “city highway”). 

Railway transport

The Silesian Voivodeship executes about 50% of all railway transports in the country. When describing the railway infrastructure, one must mention the railway junction in Tarnowskie Góry – one of Europe’s largest railway junctions. Transport realised between Bielsko, Katowice and Warsaw is provided by the Central Railway Main Line (CMK), and between  Katowice and Gdańsk by the Port Railway Main Line, through which the majority of commodities from the Voivodeship is transferred. Additionally, thanks to CMK, a trip from Katowice to Warsaw (297 km distance) lasts just 2 hours and 40 minutes. The region is crossed by important railway routes, three of which are part of the international network, AGC – these are:

E30 Drezno – Zgorzelec – Wrocław – Katowice – Medyka– Lvov – Kiev – Moscow

E59 Malmo – Ystad – Świnoujście – Zielona Góra – Wrocław – Racibórz – Chałupki

E65 Gdynia – Warsaw – Katowice – Zebrzydowice – Ostrava – Vienna

Worth attention is also Euroterminal in Sławków, a branch of the Metallurgy Supplies Company (Centrala Zaopatrzenia Hutnictwa S.A.) in Katowice. It is the westernmost crossing point of broad and normal gauge railway systems, therefore it has connection with freight flow systems in the Asia and the Far East – Western Europe axis. Polish section of the broad gauge railway is made up of the Broad Gauge Metallurgy Line, which is Europe’s  westernmost gauge with a gap of 1,520 mm. 

Air transport

Katowice International Airport in Pyrzowice is situated around 30 km north of Katowice. It is used by passengers from southern Poland, and even by those from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The airport in Pyrzowice is one of the key elements of Silesia’s  transport infrastructure. Since the airport is located at an elevation of 303 above sea level, weather and terrain conditions tend to be much better than at other Polish airports.

Total passenger traffic in 2016 amounted over 3.2 mln. Only in December 2016 the total passenger traffic reached 186 771 persons.

The segmentation of passenger traffic shows predominance of work-related and business traffic. In 2016 the International Airport Katowice – Pyrzowice had 9.4% share in the market, which gave it the fourth rank on the national scale, below the leading Warsaw’s  Okęcie, Krakow’s Balice and Gdańsk Airport.

The Katowice International Airport in Pyrzowice plays a significant role in cargo flow being the leader in this field among regional airports in Poland with the total volume of 17 674 tones handled in 2016.