Mrs. Krystyna was traveling by train from Lubin to Katowice, accompanied by her dog. Due to its health condition, the animal had a muzzle loosely on – and that is why the passenger was asked to leave the train. The train manager even called the Railway Protection Guard, but according to witnesses, the officers considered this call unfounded and did not intervene. Now PKP Intercity explains that the dog was in the dining car, and the owner not only refused to put a muzzle on it and show him a rabies vaccination certificate, but also refused to buy a ticket.
The incident took place last Friday on the Intercity Wawel train. As Mrs. Krystyna explains, the dog with her was wearing a muzzle, but it was put on quite loosely because the animal had recently undergone eye surgery. Too much pressure on the muzzle could be dangerous.
When asked what consequences the correct muzzling could have on the animal’s health, the woman admits that she “doesn’t even want to think about it.” – It could end with another surgery. The day we set off on our journey was the day we removed his stitches, the woman explains.
Passengers in the dining car were apparently not bothered by the quadruped, but the train manager expressed serious reservations about its presence. He allegedly demanded that the passenger leave the train with the person in her care.
– He insisted that the dog could not be in Warsa – says Mrs. Krystyna and admits that she knew that the regulations prohibit transporting animals in the dining car. – But neither the manager of Wars had anything against it, nor the people – assures the passenger.
The passengers – according to Ms. Krystyna’s friend who publicized the case on social media – were to stand up for the woman and convince them that the dog and its muzzle did not prevent them from continuing their journey. However, it was to no avail.
The train manager even called the Railway Protection Guard officers to the scene, but they considered this call unjustified. Ultimately, Mrs. Krystyna voluntarily got off at the station in Gliwice. From there, the train of this route takes about 20 minutes to Katowice – the station to which the passenger was heading.
The Passenger Portal application contains information that the train in Gliwice encountered difficulties, briefly described as “other”. According to witnesses, the dog’s owner decided to leave the depot so as not to further delay it. It was supposed to be about 45 minutes at this point. This means that at that time, Wawel traveling as planned could easily reach Katowice, and from there move on towards Krakow and Przemyśl – without Mrs. Krystyna and her dog. And also without delay.
Intercity defends the manager
We asked, among others, the Intercity press office about the matter. The company’s account differs significantly from that presented by the passenger. First of all, the intervention of the train manager was to be carried out at the request of people who were afraid of a large dog without a muzzle, and the owner was to stay with the dog in the dining car, where animals are not allowed. The exceptions are assistance and guide dogs.
“The passenger was informed about this by the WARS staff and asked to take the dog out. Ultimately, the crew of the catering car also asked the train manager to intervene. Transporting a large dog without a muzzle, even a mild one according to the owner’s assurance, does not exempt from observing the rules for the safety of other passengers.” – we read in the statement PKP Intercity.
According to the company, the intervention of the train manager also concerned the passenger’s refusal to buy tickets. “A passenger who boarded a train without a ticket, without informing the conductor team, is treated as a person without a valid ticket. This involves charging an additional fee,” explains the carrier.
Mrs. Krystyna explains why she refused to buy a ticket. – They tried to force me to buy a ticket with an additional fee – says the woman in an interview with tvn24.pl, at the same time assuring that if the ticket price was the same as at the ticket office, she would have paid the fare without any protests.
It is not known what the additional fee meant in this situation – Ms. Krystyna meant the amount added for purchasing a ticket from the conductor instead of at the station ticket office. Such a fee should not be added if there are no ticket offices at the station where the passenger boards, as is the case in Lubin. It could also be a fee for transporting a larger dog (small dogs can be transported without an additional fee). The carrier’s regulations also refer to the “additional fee” as a penalty for driving without a ticket – what we commonly call a fine.
Next, PKP Intercity lists Ms. Krystyna’s offenses: “a dog without a muzzle and failure to present a current certificate of vaccination against rabies, transport of a dog in a catering car, travel without a valid ticket, failure to present a document confirming identity (…) – these premises were sufficient to justify the need to intervene with participation of the services. The authors of the statement do not address the question asked by the tvn24.pl editorial team that the SOK officers found the train manager’s call to be unfounded.
We also asked the Railway Security Inspectorate about the matter. We are waiting for an answer.
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