Centralny Port Komunikacyjny (CPK) presented an investor variant for the Sieradz – Poznań HSR section via Kalisz as part of the Warsaw – Łódź – Wrocław/Poznań “Y” railway line, which is going to shorten travel between the capital of Wielkopolska and Warsaw by over an hour. The investment is part of the EU’s TEN-T core network.
For the Sieradz – Poznań HSR section CPK has selected the recommended route from four different variants based on numerous analyses, considering the technical, economic, social and environmental factors.
The length of the high-speed rail section between Poznań and Sieradz is 155 km and including the connecting lines, 220 km is the total length of the line. Most of this section of the CPK railway ‘spoke’ no. 9 is located in the Wielkopolskie Voivodeship (Greater Poland Voivodeship), excepting the area around Sieradz, Błaszki and Wróblewo, which is in the Łódź Voivodeship.
“The high-speed railway being built by CPK is a civilisational leap for Polish infrastructure. Thanks to the Sieradz – Poznań HSR section, the Wielkopolska region joins the beneficiaries of the CPK railway projects. This line should have been operational today, but unfortunately 12 years ago the preparations for the construction of the “Y” shaped line, a route connecting Warsaw, Łódź, Poznań and Wrocław, were unnecessarily suspended. Today, we are making up for the lost time, which is very good news for passengers,” the Deputy Minister of Funds and Regional Policy, Marcin Horała, Government Plenipotentiary for CPK, said.
When preparing the feasibility study, following public and authorities’ engagement, the experts replaced proposed variant with new one, which is a combination of the socially and environmentally most favoured three different variants.
“The variant, which we finally chose, is the optimal solution for the section between Poznań and Sieradz and was developed as a result of consultations with residents and local authorities. It involves the least number of conflicts with residential buildings, it interferes the least with areas of natural value and is the most favourable in terms of conflicts with water intakes and monuments,” Radosław Kantak, CPK Board member for railway investments, said.
Thanks to this investment, the train journey between Warsaw and Poznań should take about two hours from currently more than three hours. Once this section has been opened, passengers should be able to reach Kalisz from the capital in around 1 hour 25 minutes, instead of around 3 hours currently.
Travel times from Poznań are also going to be reduced: to Kalisz in about 35 minutes, from approx. 1.5 hours, and to Łódź in about 1 hour 10 minutes – now approx. 3 hours. Passengers should be able to reach CPK from Poznań in about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Trains on this line are able to reach speeds of up to 250 km/h, with the design speed being 350 km/h. This means that it should be possible to increase the parameters of this railway line in the future without having to rebuild the track. According to the schedule, the opening of the Sieradz-Poznań section should take place after the opening of stage I of the CPK airport and the Warsaw – Łódź HSR line.
As part of the ‘Y’ line, CPK has already prepared routes for a 140 km HSR section between Warsaw and Łódź and a 200 km route between Łódź and Wrocław. Design is already underway for both of these sections. The Sieradz – Poznań section is the third CPK investor variant for the “Y” line and the fifth in total – the others being the Łętownia-Rzeszów section in the Podkarpacie region and the Katowice – Ostrava section in Śląsk.
The planned Warsaw – Łódź – Sieradz – Wrocław/Poznań line is part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). In 2021, CPK received more than PLN 108 million in grants under the CEF Reflow Connecting Europe Facility to carry out the design of the CPK tunnel in Łódź and feasibility studies for the sections: Warsaw-Łódź, the CPK junction and the Sieradz – Poznań section. As part of the CEF2 call for proposals, CPK is applying for further, many times higher, funding for the development of these projects.
The CPK railway programme envisages the construction of 2,000 km new lines and is a response to more than 30 years of almost total downtime in this field. The assumption is that the journey from most of the largest Polish cities to CPK and Warsaw should take a maximum of 2.5 hours.
CPK is committed to the development of a high-speed rail system beyond Poland for which a MoU has been signed with RB Rail AS and Správa železnic in January. The three parties intend to create an high-speed network in the Three Seas region which is expected to be created by 4,500 km of connections. EUR 60 billion is the estimated value of the projects expected to bring benefits of more than EUR 120 billion and to revolutionise the entire transport system in the region.