POLAND’s national long-distance passenger operator, PKP Intercity, has accepted Newag’s bid of Zlotys 3364.8bn ($US 849m) for the purchase of 35 electro-diesel hybrid multiple units. Newag was the only company to bid for the tender, that had an estimated price of Zlotys 3367.3bn.

“These are the first such vehicles for PKP Intercity,” says Mr Janusz Malinowski, president of the management board of PKP Intercity. Malinowski says the new trains will complement the existing fleet of 90 EMUs, shorten journey times by avoiding the need to change between diesel and electric locomotives en route, and thereby reduce operating costs.

PKP Intercity says the trains will be fitted with diesel engines which meet the latest emission standards. They will also be equipped with ETCS.

Each train will have 154 second class and 20 first class seats, plus four seats for people with reduced mobility. The trains will have catering vending machines and eight bicycle racks.

The first two units will be handed over to PKP Intercity 30 months after signing the contract with Newag, which will also be responsible for maintaining the trains for 10 years using PKP Intercity employees. “However, the project was not adequately prepared for maintenance,” says Mr Adam Wawrzyniak, member of the management board of PKP Intercity. “We are in talks with the manufacturer and are looking for our own solutions to provide appropriate facilities for these trains.”

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