SOLIDARITY Transport Hub (CPK), the company leading the infrastructure programme centred on a new airport between Warsaw and Łódź, has announced the second construction tender for the most complex rail scheme forming part of the project: construction of an over 4km-long high-speed railway tunnel in Łódź.

The tunnel will form part of the Warsaw - Solidarity Transport Hub Airport (STH) - Łódź - Wrocław high-speed line and construction work is due to start this year from a point west of Łódź Fabryczna station. Contractors must submit their bids by April 5.

The Łódź tunnel project has been divided into three parts: as part of the initial preparatory stage, work will be carried out to strengthen the foundations of Łódź Community Centre, which is located directly under the Łódź House of Culture (ŁDK) building close to the point near Fabryczna station where the new tunnel will begin.

The second part of the tunnel project, for which the new tendering process has been launched, will be construction of launching and receiving chambers for the tunnel boring machine (TBM). The chosen contractor will be responsible for both designing and building the chambers.

The chambers are to be named after their respective locations. The Retkinia chamber, at the southwestern end of the planned tunnel, will be the starting shaft for the TBM and will need to incorporate a technical facility housing an evacuation area, equipment rooms and emergency evacuation staircases.

The other Fabryczna chamber, at the northeastern end of the tunnel, will need to be constructed as a disassembly shaft for the TBM as a turnout chamber.

The third part of the project will be the actual boring of the new rail tunnel, which at its southwestern end will see the high-speed line emerging to the southwest of PKP’s Łódź Kaliska station near the Retkinia housing estate and the existing Line 14 light rail line.

“Preparations for the construction of the long-distance tunnel in Łódź are proceeding according to plan,” says CPK management board member for railway investment, Mr Radosław Kantak. “For the tunnel, the most advanced CPK investment, we have both a construction design and a package of environmental and location decisions.

“We also have a building permit for the first stage of construction, strengthening the foundations of ŁDK, and in the coming days we plan to open bidding in the tender for raising the foundations of ŁDK. This year we’ll start work on construction of the tunnel.”

In January CPK made an application for funding for the construction of the Łódź Fabryczna - Łódź Retkinia tunnel to the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF 2). CPK has already received approximately Zlotys 60m ($US 13.4m) for project preparatory works under the CEF Transport Reflow programme.

Completion of the 140km Warsaw - Łódź route, which will be Poland’s first high-speed line, is expected in 2028. Contracts for design and GSM-R communications worth a total of Zlotys 300m were awarded in November 2022.

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