The Pendolino train, manufactured by Alstom, the first high-speed train to operate in Poland, was put into operation on 14 December. Pendolino marks a new phase of railway passenger transport in Poland providing increased comfort, safety, new standards and, most importantly, a reduced duration of travel between Poland’s southern and northern regions.
The Pendolino train will be operated by PKP Intercity on the main lines of the Polish network facilitating a faster transit between Warsaw, Gdansk, Gdynia, Katowice, Krakow and Wroclaw.
The 7-car Pendolino is capable to accommodate up to 402 passengers in first class, second class and in the special compartments dedicated to families or to a group of up to four passengers. The train, now at its fourth generation of Pendolinos, is capable to operate at a maximum speed of 250 km/h. Each car is fitted with LED displays for the real-time information of passengers.
This commissioning follows the contract worth EUR 665 million awarded by PKP Intercity in 2011 to supply 20 high speed trains, the full maintenance of the fleet for up to 17 years and the construction of a maintenance depot, in Warsaw. The 12,000 m2 newly-built depot is equipped with the most high-tech servicing tools.
The European Union allocated EUR 74 Million for this high speed project in Poland. Moreover, an additional EUR 10 Billion will be granted within the EU cohesion fund 2014- 2020 to further support the development of the Polish railway network.
Over the past years, Poland has invested in the development of railway transport and the project is quite predictable for this country, the largest market with high-speed transport in Central and Eastern Europe. In this classification, carried out by UNIFE, Poland is followed by Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Greece.
“Alstom Transport exports 100% of the production in Poland and invested EUR 14 Million in the financial year 2013”, declared Valerie Chardon, Central Europe Managing Director of Alstom.
“With this commissioning, Alstom confirms its expertise in the high-speed sector and the success of one of the best-seller high-speed trains in the world, the Pendolino, which has been optimised to fit the needs of the country’s railway network. Alstom is proud to take part in this breakthrough in the history of Polish railways” said Andreas Knitter, Alstom Transport Senior Vice President Europe.
The 20 Pendolino trains that entered operation in the Polish network will provide rapid connections on the Warsaw – Gdansk routes with a duration of travel of 2 h, 58min (compared to 4 h, 12 min at present), Warsaw – Krakow with 2h, 28 min (compared to 3h, 3 min at present), Warsaw – Katowice with 2h, 24 min (compared to 3h, 12 min at present), Warsaw – Wroclaw, where trains will cover the distance in 3h, 42min (compared to 5h, 2 min at present), Gdansk – Krakow with 5h, 28min (compared to 7h, 40min at present) and Gdansk – Katowice with 5h, 46min (compared to 9h, 2min at present).
“This is a new type of service provided to passengers, totally different compared to what we had before in Poland, it is compliant to European standards. The improvement of transport speed, up to 230 km/h and 250 km/h, will be made gradually according to investment plans”, underlined Marcin Celejewski, President PKP Intercity, adding that, according to estimates, the busiest route with the highest transport demand of the six routes operated with the Pendolino trains, would be Warsaw – Gdansk.
You can read more about this project in the January issue of the Railway PRO magazine.
Photo: Club Feroviar