Geographia Polonica (1984) vol. 50

Differentiation of transportation infrastructure as a consequence of former political divisions

Teofil Lijewski

Geographia Polonica (1984) vol. 50, pp. 67-74 | Full text

Poland's present territory is an interesting example of a differentiation of thetransportation infrastructure resulting from different history of its individualcomponents. In some aspects, the consequences of the 19th c. political divisionremain visible till today. This is particularly true of the railway network, thebulk of which dates back to the times when Poland's territory was split inthree parts by three partitioning powers.

The Polish state did not exist from 1795 till 1918, except for a short timeduring the Napoleonic Wars, when the Duchy of Warsaw played the part ofa surrogate state. In the course of those 123 years, Europe had developeda modern transport network, which included railways, highways and inland canals.In the Polish territory this network was designed and constructed by alien statesin consideration of their own interests and not the needs of Poland, which wasnot to regain independence till 1918.

Each of the three partitioning states was at a different stage of economicdevelopment and pursued a different transport policy, which resulted in a considerabledifferentiation of the transportation infrastructure in the area of Poland. Thesituation became particularly evident after 1918. when areas of extreme disparityas regards the density of the transport network fell within the borders of onecountry.

Teofil Lijewski, Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization. Polish Academy of Sciences. Warsaw. Poland