Poland will get 100 new high-speed trains for CPK

Poland will get 100 new high-speed trains for CPK
© ALSTOM SA. Maciej Turkowski

The government has given the green light for Centralny Port Komunykacyjny (CPK) to acquire over 100 electric multiple units with a maximum speed of 250 km/h.

These units will be leased to railway operators as part of a new rolling stock initiative. The trains, designed for high-speed travel, will have dual power systems.

The decision is a key element of the CPK Programme, which aims to create a subsidiary to manage and acquire the necessary rolling stock for future High-Speed Rail (HSR) lines. The new trains will adhere to rigorous technical and quality standards, including a top speed of 250 km/h, compatibility with 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC power supplies, and features to accommodate people with disabilities. Additionally, they will incorporate energy recovery systems, advanced safety measures, and the European Train Control System (ETCS) for improved interoperability. Passenger amenities will include multifunctional areas, individual lighting, and USB chargers.

The project is an integral part of CPK's broader rail investment strategy, which includes building HSR lines, expanding the rail network, reducing travel times, and increasing rail's share in passenger and freight transport. The initial focus will be on purchasing trains for the first HSR line between Warsaw, CPK, and Łódź, coinciding with the opening of CPK airport.

Under the resolution, CPK can establish a rolling stock pool, where operators lease trains from manufacturers through multi-year contracts. Mikołaj Wild, CEO of CPK, highlighted the project's pioneering approach to rail transport in Poland, offering growth opportunities for railway operators while reducing capital expenditure.

The CPK rolling stock company will potentially attract minority investors and will be largely financed through debt instruments. The estimated investment in new railway vehicles between 2024 and 2030 is around EUR 2 billion, with a total of EU 3.6-4.5 billion by 2035, significantly contributing to the Polish economy.

Further analyses and consultations are planned to refine the rolling stock's functional aspects and incorporate feedback from railway operators and groups representing people with disabilities.

The initiative is expected to significantly impact passenger rail travel in Poland. Since 2015, there has been a steady increase in rail passengers, with a record 342 million travellers in 2022. The introduction of HSR is anticipated to double the number of long-distance train passengers by 2050, creating a high demand for modern rolling stock. This increase comes when a significant portion of the current fleet is aging and will soon need replacement.

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