POLISH operator PKP Intercity plans to buy 63 modern, multi-system electric locomotives capable of at least 200km/h, with an option for a further 32.

This would be one of the largest traction projects in the company’s history.

Manufacturers have until July 1 to submit expressions of interest, with an Invitation to Tender expected to be issued in the last quarter of 2021. The winning bidder is then expected to be announced in the first quarter of 2022.

“Modern and fast locomotives will allow faster journeys, which will have a large impact on the further increase in the number of passengers,” says Mr Marek Chraniek, president of the management board of PKP Intercity. “Our plans assume that by 2030 we want to transport 74 million people a year and become the first choice for passengers for long-distance travel. The new locomotives will be electric, which will be another step on our way to achieving climate neutrality.”

The locomotives will be powered by 3kV dc, 15kV ac and 25kV ac enabling them to operate internationally, with PKP Intercity needing approval to run them in Poland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. The locomotives will be equipped with ETCS Level 2.

The order is part of a Zloty 19bn ($US 5.17bn) investment in rolling stock that includes wagons, locomotives, EMUs and push-pull double-deck coaches.

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