Poland opens funding floodgates for new lines and upgrades
Poland will double its planned rail investments to 11 billion zloty (2,36 billion euros), the Polish government recently announced. This should enable the completion of 34 project, up from 17 under the original plans.
As part of those various projects, existing lines will be upgraded and new railway lines will be constructed. In total, the government is aiming for the completion of 1,203 kilometres of track.
The 11-billion-zloty investment will be made under the Railway Plus banner, a programme that was introduced in 2018 in order to upgrade and expand Poland’s railway network. One of the programme’s pillars is to improve connections to small and medium-sized towns.
“Poland is not only an archipelago of rich cities. Most Poles live in medium and smaller towns and we must also bear these communities in mind”, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at a press conference earlier this month. Despite the war in Ukraine and the movement of refugees, Poland must not lose sight of local development, he added.
— Kancelaria Premiera (@PremierRP) April 20, 2022
PKP played vital role since start of the war in Ukraine
Polish State Railways PKP has shouldered most of the effort to get people out Ukraine. At the start of this month, it had already launched more than 1,000 trains to carry well over half a million Ukrainians to safety. PKP Cargo and PKP LHS, by working in tandem with Ukrainian Railways, have also transported more than 2,000 cargo wagons into Ukraine.
At present, a host of railway works is being carried out. According to the government, the various ongoing projects represent an investment of more than 40 billion zloty.
Study launched for upgrades to Berlin – Müncheberg – Kostrzyn
In related news, German authorities are looking into options to upgrade the Berlin – Müncheberg – Kostrzyn regional line into Poland from an un electrified single track to an electrified double-track railway. Among other things, this would enable trains to travel at speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour. Berlin-Brandenburg transportation company VBB and local authorities expect an uptick in economic activity following the start of operations at car maker Tesla’s new factory outside Berlin.