Poland improves train travel options for Euro 2012

People traveling in Poland during next month's Euro 2012 football championship will be able to check train schedules and buy tickets online.

Transport Minister Slawomir Nowak said Thursday that people will be able to do that on their computers or cellphones with Bluetooth and get encoded tickets that make paper ones unnecessary. The procedure will be available at stations in tournament's four cities: Warsaw, Wroclaw, Gdansk, Poznan and also in Renaissance Krakow, which is popular with foreign tourists.

A website in Polish, English and Russian, kolejna2012.pl, will help them use the system and offer other travel guidance, including for the handicapped.

At a cost of 90 billion zlotys ($25.5 billion; euros 20.5 billion), Poland has upgraded its roads, travel facilities, hotels and stadiums for the three weeks of the tournament.

A special train connection opened Thursday linking Warsaw's Frederic Chopin airport, the city center and the National Stadium, where the tournament, co-hosted by Ukraine, will kick off June 8 with a Poland-Greece match.

To help ease intensified air traffic during the games, an alternative airport in nearby Modlin will serve as backup for chartered flights, provided it gets all the necessary certificates in time, said Modlin airport spokeswoman Edyta Mikolajczyk.

Modernized and refurbished, Modlin is currently receiving small planes and Ryanair is to be the first commercial airline to fly to Modlin on July 16 .