Poland updates the national rail programme and its financing

Polish 2030 National Railway Programme Poland’s Council of Ministers adopted on November 14, 2023, a resolution amending the rule on the establishment of Polish 2030 National Railway Programme (KPK), with a perspective until 2032. At the same time, changes were made to the resolution regarding the financing of interprovincial and international passenger transport in rail transport. Both documents were submitted by the Minister of Infrastructure.

“The very important decisions made by the government to update the National Railway Programme and to increase funds for co-financing interprovincial and international rail passenger transport are an expression of our consistency in building a safe, comfortable and punctual Polish railway since 2015,” the Minister of Infrastructure Andrzej Adamczyk said.

The update of the Polish 2030 National Railway Programme is related to, among others, with the need to transfer PLN 1.3 billion (EUR 296.5 million) of state budget funds to the “Government Programme to support the tasks of railway infrastructure managers, including maintenance and renovation, until 2028”. At the same time, PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe is planned to be recapitalised in 2024 with treasury securities in the amount of PLN 1.3 billion (EUR 296.5 million), intended to finance investments carried out by the company under the KPK.

Additionally, the update of the strategy takes into account the results of the second CEF2 Transport competition in the 2021-2027 perspective, where the pool of EU funds was increased by over PLN 3 billion (EUR 684.2 million), which allowed for a reduction in the involvement of funds from the state budget.

Under the Polish 2030 National Railway Programme, 1,400 km of rail lines will be electrified to decarbonise railway transport and to allow the deployment of electric trains which will deliver rapid, safe, comfortable and sustainable transport services.

The government also decided to increase funding for interprovincial and international rail passenger transport for the period 2024–2030. The main goal is to increase compensation under the framework agreement for the provision of public services concluded between the Minister of Infrastructure and PKP Intercity.

The proposed solutions include increasing funding for PKP Intercity by PLN 6.5 billion (EUR 1.48 billion) in 2024–2030, of which the initial amount in 2024 will be PLN 603 million (EUR 137.5 million).This action aims to both maintain and improve the transport accessibility of various regions by ensuring and developing a network of long-distance railway connections covering the whole of Poland.

“The lack of additional financial support could significantly reduce the number of intercity rail connections, which in turn could lead to an increase in problems with communication exclusion in rail transport,” the Minister of Infrastructure explained.

The resolution on the programme to support the activities of the railway infrastructure managers, including maintenance and renovation until 2028 was adopted on November 7, 2023, with PLN 49 billion (more than EUR 11 billion) as a total limit of public funds for the implementation of the programme. This strategy is a continuation of the existing 5-year governmental programme to support the projects implemented by the railway infrastructure managers, until 2023.  These activities include projects “carried out as part of the rail infrastructure maintenance programmes which provides railway infrastructure managers with stable financing for repair works,” Andrzej Adamczyk said.

“The maintenance programme adopted by the Council of Ministers aims to make up for the often-long-standing backlog of repairs, maintenance and renovation works on railway lines. It is also of great importance to ensure the long-term effects of the modernisation of railway lines,” Andrzej Bittel, the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, explained.

The programme includes, among others an updated financial data of rail infrastructure managers and a projection of comparable monitoring indicators for all the rail infrastructure managers participating in the programme from a financial perspective.It also includes an additional forecast of costs for the infrastructure managers covering the maintenance and renovation of railway infrastructure, extended for the period 2029-2035.A significant change compared to the current programme is the presentation of basic, unified indicators for all infrastructure managers participating in the programme in terms of infrastructure, costs, speed, punctuality and safety.

​ This programme will be available for the national rail infrastructure manager PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe (PKP PLK), for PKP Szybka Kolej Miejska w Trójmiasto (PKP Fast Urban Railway in Tri-City, known as SKM), Lower Silesian Road and Railway Service in Wrocław, and Euroterminal Sławków owned by CZH, PKP Cargo and PKP LHS which are managing the transshipment terminal located at the junction of the westernmost section of railway lines with a wide track gauge (1520 mm) and standard gauge tracks (1435 mm).

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