The future of rail transportation in Poland looks promising as CPK (Centralny Port Komunikacyjny) sets its sights on revolutionizing the industry. With plans to purchase over 100 state-of-the-art trains, CPK aims to enhance efficiency, reduce travel times, and increase the overall share of rail in both passenger and freight transport. This article delves into the details of CPK’s ambitious project and its impact on Poland’s rail network.
The CPK Rolling Stock Resolution
The CPK rolling stock resolution, recently approved by the government, paves the way for CPK to purchase more than 100 electric multiple units. These trains will be leased to railway operators as part of the rolling stock pool. The new high-speed trains are designed to operate at speeds of up to 250 km/h and will feature cutting-edge technology, energy efficiency, and high passenger comfort.
According to the Concept for the Provision of Passenger Rolling Stock in Connection with the Implementation of the CPK Programme, CPK will establish a subsidiary company dedicated to purchasing and managing the rolling stock required for the future High-Speed Rail (HSR) lines. This move ensures a comprehensive approach to rail transport and provides opportunities for Polish companies to participate in the manufacturing process.
Technical Specifications and Passenger Comfort
The new rolling stock will comply with the Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) and meet various technical and quality requirements to ensure passenger safety and comfort. These requirements include:
- Maximum operating speed of 250 km/h.
- Dual power systems: 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC.
- Accessibility for people with disabilities.
- Energy efficiency and energy recovery systems.
- Compatibility with safety systems.
- European Train Control System (ETCS) meeting the latest interoperability requirements.
- Passenger information system (SIP) integrating airport information and on-board digital signage technology.
- Passenger conveniences such as multifunctional areas, individual lighting, and USB chargers.
Deputy Minister of Funds and Regional Policy, Marcin Horała, the government plenipotentiary for CPK, emphasizes the importance of modern trains in complementing the railway infrastructure. He believes that involving Polish companies in the manufacturing process will not only boost the economy but also ensure a well-thought-out and comprehensive approach to rolling stock procurement.
CPK’s Rail Investments
CPK’s rail investments aim to enhance Poland’s rail network, reduce journey times, and increase the share of rail transportation. The purchase of rolling stock is a crucial part of these investments, supporting the development of High-Speed Rail (HSR) lines and other key rail projects.
The first priority for rolling stock acquisition is Poland’s inaugural HSR line, connecting Warsaw, CPK, and Łódź. This line will commence operations alongside the commercial launch of CPK airport. By strategically prioritizing the HSR line, CPK aims to provide efficient and convenient transportation options for passengers.
The Rolling Stock Pool
CPK plans to establish a rolling stock pool, a model widely used in Western European railway markets. Under this model, operators purchase trains in bulk from manufacturers and lease them to railway operators through multi-year contracts. In the United Kingdom, for example, three companies owned 87% of the rolling stock used by operators in 2019.
Mikołaj Wild, CEO of CPK, highlights the benefits of the rolling stock pool concept. It allows operators to lease modern rolling stock tailored to the CPK infrastructure, enabling them to save on capital expenditure and grow simultaneously. CPK’s rolling stock company will have the flexibility to attract minority investors, both private and public, and secure financing through debt instruments, including banks, investment funds, insurance companies, and pension funds.
Projected Investment Expenditures and Economic Boost
CPK’s rolling stock project is expected to contribute significantly to the Polish economy. Estimated investment expenditures on new railway vehicles between 2024 and 2030 are projected to reach PLN 8.7 billion. By 2035, the total investment is anticipated to reach PLN 16-20 billion. This considerable investment is expected to benefit the Polish economy, including rolling stock manufacturers and system sub-suppliers.
To ensure the rolling stock meets functional requirements, CPK plans to conduct further analyses and consultations with railway operators and organizations representing people with disabilities. This inclusive approach aims to address the needs of various stakeholders and create a seamless and accessible rail system.
The “CPK Effect” – A Surge in Rail Passengers
Poland has experienced a steady increase in rail passengers since 2015, with a temporary setback caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the number of rail passengers reached 342 million, surpassing the previous record set in 2019. However, the introduction of CPK’s HSR connections is expected to create a significant surge in rail passengers, an effect commonly referred to as the “CPK effect.”
According to analyses conducted using the Passenger Transport Model (PMT), CPK’s traffic forecasting model, the new CPK lines will double the number of long-distance rail passengers in Poland by 2050. This increased demand for rail travel will further necessitate the replacement of older trainsets. Data from the Office of Rail Transport (UTK) indicates that within the next decade, approximately 90% of passenger coaches and 70% of electric multiple units will be over 40 years old, rendering them unfit for service.
CPK’s ambitious plans to purchase over 100 trains and establish a rolling stock pool mark a significant milestone in Poland’s rail transportation sector. As CPK revolutionizes rail travel with state-of-the-art technology, energy efficiency, and enhanced passenger comfort, Poland’s rail network will experience a surge in passengers and contribute to the country’s economic growth. With the implementation of CPK’s comprehensive approach to rail transport, Poland is poised to become a leader in modern and sustainable rail infrastructure in Europe.