POLAND’s government has approved the creation of a rolling stock leasing company, which will purchase more than 100 high-speed EMUs for the country’s planned high-speed network.

The Central Communication Port (CPK) project will see the construction of a new airport, 12 new high-speed lines totalling 2000km, and the modernisation of 3700km of existing mainline railway.

The rolling stock leasing company will be set up as a subsidiary of CPK to purchase the trains, which will then be leased from a pool to operators using the new high-speed network.

The company will be able to attract minority investors, both private and public such as through bank, investment funds, insurance companies and pension funds. The new body is expected to spend Zlotys 8.7bn ($US 2bn) on new rail vehicles by 2030, rising to Zlotys 16-20bn by 2035.

According to the resolution adopted by the government, the trains must comply with the European Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) and will meet a number of technical and quality requirements, including:

  • a maximum speed of up to 250km/h
  • 3kV dc and 25kV ac traction systems
  • measures for passengers with special requirements and reduced mobility
  • good energy efficiency, including the use of energy recovery systems
  • compatibility of safety systems
  • ETCS signalling and control systems
  • a passenger information system which displays airport information, alongside on-board digital signage technology, and
  • the provision of passenger amenities such as multi-functional areas, individual lighting and USB chargers.

“Even the best railway infrastructure will not work without modern trains ,” says secretary of state at the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy and CPK commissioner, Mr Marcin Horała. “Therefore, the purchase of rolling stock for the projected CPK railway lines should be carried out in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner. We are convinced that Polish companies will be involved in the production of trains and that this purchase will also be a boost for our economy.”

Priority will be given to the purchase of rolling stock to operate on the Warsaw - CPK - Łódź line, which is due to open alongside the CPK airport in 2027.

CPK says using a rolling stock leasing company model reduces the capital cost required for operators to commence service on the network. It says the project will also stimulate demand in the Polish rolling stock and rail vehicle subsystems market.

“CPK is the first programme to take a comprehensive approach to rail transport, creating opportunities for rail operators to save on capital expenditure and grow at the same time ,” says CPK CEO, Mr Mikołaj Wild. “We believe that, as with the approach to liberalising the rail market, it is worth taking advantage of international experience and know-how. The rolling stock pool concept is an attractive offer for carriers to lease modern rolling stock adapted to the CPK infrastructure.”

CPK plans to further analyse the functional characteristics of the required rolling stock before formally establishing the leasing company. It will also carry out consultations with organisations such as operators and groups representing people with special needs to take their needs into account.

An in-depth report on the CPK project appeared in the October issue of IRJ, and is available here.

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