New regulation allows trains to run at speeds above 200 km/h in Poland

Minister of Infrastructure, Andrzej Adamczyk

Poland’s Minister of Infrastructure, Andrzej Adamczyk, signed an Amendment to the Regulation on general conditions for railway traffic and signalling. The most important aspect of the amendment is to adapt the regulations to the planned introduction of the maximum speed of trains at the level of 250 km/h.
“The amendment of the regulation removes the last legal barrier and allows building a safe, comfortable and punctual railway system. It is a translation that the modern technical solutions should be matched by legislative changes that enable their application in practice to the benefit of all passengers and customers of the railways,” the minister said.
In accordance with applicable regulations, the trains that are traveling at speeds above 160 km/h must use the ERTMS/ETCS system. There was a need to adapt the provisions specifying the conditions for using the ERTMS/ETCS system, also for speeds higher than the currently used a maximum speed of 200 km/h. Firstly, the speed above 200 km/h will be introduced on the Central Railway Line connecting Warsaw with Krakow and Katowice.
The amendment to the regulation also provides for other solutions to increase railway traffic safety. Among them, the introduction of a more transparent, precise and driver-friendly signalling system on the speed limit route. In addition, all indicators on new, modernized and refurbished railway lines will be compulsorily made of reflective materials to ensure better visibility.
Railway undertakings and infrastructure manager must adapt internal regulations within a period not longer than 6 months from the date of entry into force of the amendment to the Regulation.
Works will be carried out to allow increased speeds. For example, on the Central Railway Line the technical station in Idzikowice is being modernized. The construction of new tracks, traction network, and cable works are currently performed, covering 18 km of tracks and 43 turnouts. A new control room equipped with computer control devices will be built. When works will be completed, the trains will be able to run at 230-250 km/h.
“We are preparing the Central Railway Line to accommodate more trains running at higher speeds. We exchange the tracks, install new turnouts, and construct a traction network at the Idzikowice station. After the modernisation, the line will allow a larger number of trains, running faster. The value of the ongoing investments on the line linking Grodzisk Mazowiecki (town in central Poland) with Zawiercie (Silesian Voivodeship of southern Poland) is PLN 250 million [58.4 million],” Ireneusz Merchel, CEO of PKP PLK said.
Works at Opoczno Południe station are completed, the new platform and underground passage providing passengers more comfortable services. Residents of the Łódź and Świętokrzyskie provinces will conveniently reach by rail to Warsaw and Krakow, as well as Prague or Grodna. Faster travel on the Idzikowice – Opoczno Południe route will ensure the reconstruction of 4 viaducts. Old constructions have already been removed on one track. The contractor is preparing to build new facilities.
For increasing speeds as well as a better traffic management and increased capacity, on the Central Railway Line, ERTMS/ETCS level 2 and GSM-R system will be deployed. They will allow trains to run on the Central Railway Line at speeds of up to 205 km/h, which will reduce travel time on Warsaw – Katowice / Krakow route to less that 2 hours, from currently 2 hours 20 minutes.
By 2023, the railway infrastructure manager, PKP PLK plans to implement the GSM-R system on 14,000 km of railway network.

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