Direct Kaliningrad-Berlin train service to start running soon

A direct train service to Berlin will begin again soon from the South Station of Kaliningrad. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, the details will be discussed at a meeting of Kaliningrad railway officials and their German colleagues, who arrived in the region yesterday.

The visit of the German delegation coincides with the 10th anniversary of the first direct train to Germany from Kaliningrad since the end of the Second World War. Between 1993 and 1999 a direct train service linked the Russian exclave with Berlin and other European cities. The line was closed by Poland in view of its unprofitability and since then a change in the Polish city of Gdynia has been the only way of reaching Berlin by train.

An initial agreement to re-establish a direct train service was reached on August 20 at a meeting in Warsaw between Russian Railways Minister Gennady Fadeyev and Deputy Polish Infrastructure Minister Andrzej Pilat. An agreement has still to be reached, however, on the exact route of the train. Poland would like the train to come through Warsaw whereas the Russian side insists a shorter route is necessary, via Shetsin, as this would mean much lower ticket prices.

Steps have already been taken about organising Polish visas for the train staff. The train will include comfortable Russian carriages which are in line with European standards.

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