March 16, 2016

LKA launches Lodz - Warsaw open-access service

Written by  Keith Fender
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LKA launches Lodz - Warsaw open-access service Keith Fender

POLISH regional operator Łódź Agglomeration Railway (LKA) launched direct open-access weekend services between Poland's second largest city Łódź and the capital Warsaw on March 13.

The service consists of two train pairs operated between Łódź Widzew and Warsaw Central on Saturday and Sundays using LKA's new fleet of Stadler Flirt EMUs and offering a journey time of 1h 20min.

LKA told local media it intends to complement rather than compete with the existing services on the route operated by PKP Intercity and Regional Railways (PR), not least because the PR trains are subsidised by the Łódź regional government which also funds LKA.

LKA does not currently plan to operate weekday services on the route and had to obtain permission from the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and Development to use the Flirt EMUs as they were funded using EU funds specifically for use in the Łódź region. As service frequencies on the core LKA network are lower at weekends the trains are available for the new Warsaw services.

Polish infrastructure manager PLK has now largely completed reconstruction of the Łódź to Warsaw route with modernised track and signalling permitting 160km/h operation. LKA services are the first to take full advantage of this.

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