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PKP Intercity plans to invest billions in rolling stock in 2024

TSLPKP Intercity plans to invest billions in rolling stock in 2024

In 2023, PKP Intercity set a record for the number of passengers transported and signed a series of multi-billion dollar contracts. They do not intend to slow down in 2024. Among their major plans for this year is the decision on a gigantic tender for the purchase of 300 new carriages, the announcement of a tender for 23 high-speed train sets and hybrid, electric-diesel traction units. The carrier forecasts that thanks to these investments and the continuous improvement of travel comfort, they will break the barrier of 70 million transported passengers in 2024. They also hope that in the coming years, the implementation of the rolling stock strategy will be supported by EU funds.

“Our investment strategy regarding rolling stock – the replacement of locomotives and wagons with new ones or their upgrading to the latest standards – is already about PLN 8.5 billion, counting since 2016. We have contracted this amount to buy or upgrade locomotives, wagons, electric multiple units” – comments Tomasz Gontarz, Vice President of the Board at PKP Intercity.

In 2023, the national carrier transported over 68 million passengers (compared to 59 million a year earlier, an increase of over 15% y/y), which is the best result in its history. The company points out that the continuously improving transport results and the growing interest in its services year on year are the effect of multi-billion investments in rolling stock, which constantly improves travel comfort.

2023 also saw the receipt of all ED74 electric multiple units that were sidelined after a breakdown. Now, they have been restored to long-distance routes. “We receive new locomotives all the time, most recently one from the order contracted in March, which means that the manufacturer Newag needed only eight months to produce the first locomotive from this contract. At the beginning of the year, we plan to receive two more Griffin locomotives from Newag and make them available to passengers,” announces Tomasz Gontarz.

By the end of last year, the carrier had also received the last of 12 ordered Flirt type electric multiple units, manufactured in the Stadler Polska factory in Siedlce. The value of this contract was over PLN 1 billion, and all the ordered Flirts are already carrying PKP Intercity passengers.

“There is hardly a month in which we would not receive modernized wagons, new locomotives or electric multiple units,” emphasizes the vice president of PKP Intercity.

Since the beginning of the implementation of the High Investment Railway investment strategy, PKP Intercity has already signed contracts for around PLN 8.5 billion. Only last year did they conclude agreements for modernization or purchase of modern rolling stock worth a total of over PLN 1.96 billion gross.

“In December alone, we signed a contract with Newag for the purchase of 46 electric locomotives, which can speed up to 160 km/h,” underlines Tomasz Gontarz. A contract signed with Newag in December for the purchase of 46 new, single-system electric locomotives is worth nearly PLN 1.2 billion. After the implementation of this contract, PKP Intercity’s fleet will have as many as 96 modern locomotives produced by Newag, developing a speed of up to 160 km/h.

“Three of our biggest, most ambitious and probably most interesting plans for 2024, in terms of rolling stock, are first of all the decision of a gigantic tender for the purchase of 300 new wagons with an option for another 150 units. We opened an offer and I hope that this year we will sign a contract. The second thing is high-speed train sets – we plan to announce a tender for 23 such sets this year, which will travel up to 250 km/h, i.e. similar to Pendolino trains, which are in our fleet. I can’t fail to mention hybrid, electric-diesel traction units, which will enable not only electrified but also non-electrified travel. Thanks to this, our services will be even more accessible, because we will be able to reach places that are communicationally excluded because they are on a non-electrified railway route” – lists the expert.

PKP Intercity expanded its development and investment strategy with a perspective up to 2030 last year. The new, even more ambitious plan provides for the company to spend almost PLN 27 billion on investments by the end of the decade (instead of the previously planned PLN 19 billion).

“We look forward to announcing additional funding; it is very needed for Polish railways for the purchase of rolling stock, not only by us, but also by metropolitan and regional carriers, as well as additional funds for railway infrastructure. We have to remember that if we do not modernize the railway infrastructure, we will not be able to achieve high speeds during travel. This in turn means that it will be longer and therefore less competitive compared to cars,” says Tomasz Gontarz. “The railway is the most environmentally friendly means of transport.”

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