Food services available
Accessing the train
Attributes of the train
A wide variety of trains are used for these IC services, including some of the most modern trains in Poland - and those modern trains have wheelchair spaces available, and are more likely to have a bistro service.
However, older coaches, pulled by a locomotive, still comprise many IC services - the refurbished coaches tend to be used on the more prestigious EIC services.
Three core on board travel aspects separate IC and EIC services:
(1) IC services don't convey restaurant cars - and some of the trains used for IC services don't convey bistro/bar coaches either.
(2) On the routes they share with EIC services, the IC services are usually* (much) slower - so pay particular attention to the journey times of the IC services - it can be worth comparing them with earlier and later departures, both with the EIC services and other IC departures.
(3) For that reason they tend to be cheaper than EIC services (and the fastest of all EIP services, when they are also an option for travelling between two destinations).
*On some routes there can be a mix of fast and slow IC trains - and the fastest IC services can also much the speed of the EIC services.
When that is the case, the core difference between the two services can merely be the fact that the fastest IC services won't have restaurant cars, but the EIC trains will have them.
Not only are a wide variety of different specific trains used for IC services, there are also more IC routes than the EIC and EIP routes.
But the IC routes broadly fall into three categories:
(1) The shorter distance Polish express train routes.
(2) Cross country routes that don't serve Warszawa
(3) Longer more indirect routes, than those taken by the faster EIC and EIP services.
The routes on which either MOST of the express trains are these IC services, or the IC services are the fastest express trains are:
(1) Sczecin - Poznan - Katowice/Krakow
(2) Gdynia - Gdansk - Bydogoszcz - Poznan
(3) Warszawa - Bialystok
(4) Warszawa - Torun - Bydogoszcz
(5) Warszawa - Lodz
(6 Warszawa - Lublin
(7i) Warszawa - Olsztyn
(8) Lodz - Wroclaw
And IC services share the Poznan - Wroclaw - Katowice - Krakow - Rzeszow - Przemysl route with TLK services, but on that route the TLK services tend to be faster - and cheaper!
All tickets for Polish IC trains are seat specific, seat reservations are complimentary and included with the booking, so when you arrive on the peron/platform, check the coach number that you will printed on your ticket.
The peron/platform will be zoned and there will be information on the platform that will show in which zone each coach will be located.
Particularly check in which zone you should wait it on the peron this if you will boarding an IC train in at Warszawa Centralna, as most IC services travel through Warszawa Centralna, so arrive only a few minutes before departure.
Something to be aware of is that the trains can’t be boarded until the destination details etc are displayed on the electronic indicators.
At the stations where an IC train will be commencing its journey - the train may be waiting with doors open, it will be fairly obvious that it is the train you will be taking and you have a reserved seat.
However, the train may still being prepared for service, and if you board too soon, the conductor will politely ask you to leave.
The terms for using an IntterRail or Eurail pass on these IC services have changed recently.
If you will be travelling with a rail pass you MUST reserve a seat(s) prior to boarding these trains - but if you book the reservation at a station in Poland, you won't be charged for it.
Therefore ideally do this when you first arrive at a station in Poland and not just before you board your chosen departure.
However, as there's also now no charges for rail pass reservations on the EIC services, if there are faster EIC services on the route you wish to take, it makes sense to target those departures instead.
For this reason it can be a good idea to look up your journey on the PKP website, even though you won't be purchasing a ticket.
This is one of more than 150 train guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.