PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe launched tenders for the preparation of design documentation and obtaining the necessary approvals and building permits for three projects under the Kolej Plus in Lesser Poland (Małopolska). Under these projects, travellers from Myślenice, Niepołomice and Olkusz cities can reach Krakow quickly and comfortably by train.
In the case of the construction of a 4 km railway link on the Kraków – Olkusz route, 29 months from the date of signing the contract will be required to complete the task. The preparation of the design for the new Kraków – Niepołomice line is expected to take 32 months. The largest scope of works awaits the contractors of the project for the railway line to Myślenice. In this case, PLK SA expects 35 months to perform the contract.
The construction of the Borowa Górka – Pieczyska railway link will shorten the travel time by 15 minutes from Kraków to Olkusz, 40 km north from the region’s capital. Thanks to the new tracks, the operators will not have to turn back at the station in Jaworzno Szczakowa. In addition, the residents of Bukowno a town in Olkusz County will also benefit from a faster connection to Krakow. Access to rail transport will increase due to the construction of the Jaworzno Sosina stop. Trains will travel at a speed of 80 km/h on the new double-track line. In March, PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe and the government of Lesser Poland Voivodeship signed financing contracts for two rail projects totalling EUR 114.2 million allowing the construction of Olkusz – Krakow rail connection.
The project to link Myślenice and Krakow’s Swoszowice district a 22 km rail line is planned to be constructed including two tunnels and seven stops (in Lusina, Konary, Olszowice, Kąty, Krzyszkowice, Polanka and Myślenice).The facilities will be adapted to the needs of people with reduced mobility.The trains in the difficult foothill terrain will travel at a speed of 80 to 120 km/h.The journey from Krakow to Myślenice is estimated to take about 40 minutes.
The project for the new 6 km line between Niepołomice and Krakow will provide inhabitants increased access to region’s rail services. The selected variant includes the construction of a new track from Podgrabia, a district of Gmina Okonek, within Złotów County, to the centre of Niepołomice, 28 km east of Kraków. The trains will run at up to 80 km/h along the new line served by three stops (MAN, Boryczów and Niepołomice). Passengers will take only 30 minutes to travel from Niepołomice to Krakow city centre.
Kolej Plus in Lesser Poland involves the implementation of four selected projects covering activities for 63 km of rail links out of which 32 km will be new lines (from Kraków to the three above mentioned cities). For another 31 km existing line (Gorlice – Jasło line on mainline No. 108) revitalisation works and the construction of a connection with the No.110 rail line are planned.
“The government program Kolej Plus is a programme for the construction and reconstruction of railway lines in Polish regions. This is the first programme in history under which the government co-finances investments indicated and reported by local governments. Preparatory work is going according to plan,” the Minister of Infrastructure Andrzej Adamczyk said.
The Kolej Plus programme has a total value of PLN 13.2 billion (EUR 2.9 billion) of which PLN 11.2 billion (EUR 2.4 billion) is the national budget while PLN 2 billion (EUR 436 million) is the funding provided by the local governments. The new programme will provide cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants new or better rail connections to the railway system. Kolej Plus has been designed especially for cities or towns who do not currently have passenger rail links or need to improve their connections. Thanks to the implementation of Kolej Plus, 1.5 million inhabitants will gain better access to rail passenger services.
In April, the government of Poland has announced that 34 rail projects have been selected under the Koplej Plus which includes improvements and construction for a total of 1,200 km of rail lines. The projects are expected to be completed until 2028.