POLISH operator PKP Intercity confirmed its intention to develop a new standard for rail travel as it prepares to launch a new rolling stock tender as part of its Zlotys 19bn ($US 5.17bn) investment plan.

The operator plans to order 300 coaches, with an option for a further 150 coaches. This will be a mixture of first-class and second-class coaches with compartment and saloon versions as well as restaurant cars. The coaches will be fully accessible for passengers with reduced mobility .

“Through a new approach to designing the space inside the coaches, we want to set a new standard for rail travel, which will significantly contribute to the increase in its popularity,” says Mr Marek Chraniek, PKP Intercity president. “We are also working on new solutions that will make planning and taking a trip by train easy, fast, comfortable and cost-effective. If we want the railways to become the number one means of transport for long-distance travel in the coming years, we must do everything possible to constantly develop a new standard of quality travel.”

These coaches will be in addition to a tender for 266 double-deck coaches launched in July funding for which was allocated by the Polish government in June as part of its post-Covid-19 recovery plans. The operator is planning for its new design concepts to be introduced on the double-deck fleet as well as the new order.

Polish secretary of state at the Ministry of State Assets, Mr Maciej Malecki, says he hopes that nobody doubts that country’s railways are not changing for the better. He also says that the Zlotys 19bn investment plan is an opportunity for domestic businesses.

PKP Intercity has also recently introduced 600 modernised coaches and plans to commission the modernisation of another 321 coaches.

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