Poland to electrify 1,400 km of railway lines until 2030
Poland’s investments in rail infrastructure as outlined in its updated National Rail Programme will focus on electrification, modernising the railway network and increasing train speed and connection times in the period until 2030.
Within the next seven years, Poland plans to electrify almost 1,400 kilometres of railway lines which will allow the deployment of electric trains providing more modern, comfortable and fast services. The Polish National Railway Programme has been updated this summer and adopted by the Council of Ministers with a perspective until 2030, from its previous version which was in force from 2015 until 2023. The National Railway Programme (NRP) is a multi-year program covering investments in railway lines, which are financially supported by the ministry responsible for transport.
New maximum speeds
17.8 billion euros (PLN 80 billion) will be invested in the 2021-2027 perspective. “The government’s adoption of the new National Railway Programme means a new opening for railway investments in Poland. I am sure that thanks to this, rail transport will continue to develop dynamically in Poland, as it has been doing since 2015”, said Andrzej Adamczyk, Minister of Infrastructure.
The effect of the implementation of investments until 2030 will be fast connections. For the first time in history, the Polish railway network will be able to travel by passenger train with a maximum speed of 250 km/h. The first sections with such a maximum speed limit will be Central Railway line No. 4 , and the section between Ełk, Suwałki and the border with Lithuania, part of the connection to Rail Baltica, the new high-speed railway line in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and connecting to Poland. Several other railway sections in Poland will be upgraded to a speed of 120-200 kilometers per hour.
In addition, several new sections of railway will be added to the network in places where it is lacking. In the Nowy Sącz region and in the Beskid Wyspowy region, ‘transport exclusion’ by little the connection to the rail network today is very large, is planned to be reduced. The train travel time between Kraków and Zakopane in the fastest variant is currently almost 3 hours, and between Kraków and Nowy Sącz – over 2.5 hours and takes a roundabout route through Tarnów.
The investment in the “Podłęże – Piekiełko” project will mean a “revolutionary change” in this aspect, says PKP PLK. The line will be modernised in various sections, and a new railway line from Podłęże near Kraków to the sout to Tymbark and Mszana Doln will be built. After the investment is completed, the travel time between Krakow and Nowy Sącz will be reduced to about an hour.
Other examples of projects include constructing a rail connection between railway lines 106 (which connects Rzeszów with Jasło) and 108 (connecting Stróże, Jasło, Krosno, Nowy Zagórz, Ustrzyki Dolne and Krościenko). Currently, trains travelling south from Rzeszów towards Krosno and the Bieszczady region forced to change the front end of the train at Jaslo station, which is an inconvenience for travellers and reduces the possibility of running rail traffic. Consequently, no carrier currently offers services on the route between Rzeszów and Krosno and the Bieszczady Mountains.
By connecting the two lines, railway operators will be able to launch connections providing a direct link between Rzeszów – Krosno – Nowy Zagórz, and journey times will become attractive, according to PKP PLK. Similarly, a connector between railway lines 108 and 110 will be constructed with investment from the NRP.
The Intelligent Rail Summit will take place in Warsaw, Poland on November 6&7 this year, about the latest in Wayside train monitoring systems, Sensor technology, Asset management and Predictive maintenance for a robust railway system.