PKP Intercity has relaunched a rolling stock tender to acquire 38 seven-car push-pull double-deck trains and 45 multi-system locomotives.
The previous procedure was annulled due to high price in the submitted offer exceeding the planned budget for the purchase of the vehicles. The Polish rail operator made the terms of the future order more flexible and increased the amount allocated for the project.
In 2021, PKP Intercity announced a competitive dialogue procedure, and in 2022 it invited contractors to submit tenders. At the beginning of this year, one offer was submitted, the value of which was over PLN 7.8 billion (EUR 1.75 billion), which significantly exceeded the assumed budget by PLN 2.4 billion (EUR 539.5 million). Therefore, PKP Intercity announces a new procedure, but some elements related to the requirements and execution of the order are changed. They have been modified keeping in mind the manufacturers’ potential and their ability to submit an offer and carry out the project.
The new procedure is conducted in the form of an open tender, and not as before in the form of a competitive dialogue.PKP Intercity decided to make the delivery date of all vehicles more flexible.Previously, the operator required that the entire project be completed no later than May 31, 2026.Now the expected time is a maximum of 54 months (4.5 years) from the date of conclusion of the contract.
PKP Intercity has also changed the rules of payment for the execution of the order. In the previous proceedings, a 5% advance payment was included, while now, in addition to the 5% advance payment, the rail operator assumes additional partial payments:
- after manufacturing the body of each vehicle and performing partial acceptance with a positive result – 15% of the value of the unit price of a given vehicle;
- after successful factory acceptance of each vehicle – 15% of the value of the unit price of a given vehicle;
- after successful final acceptance of each vehicle – 65% of the value of the unit price of a given vehicle.
PKP Intercity also proposes a different approach to the issue of valorisation. The previous procedure included bilateral indexation for the provision of maintenance services with a cap of up to 2.06% and no more than 15% in relation to the prices from the offer. In the current tender, a bilateral valorisation without a cap was assumed, of course, provided that the circumstances specified in detail in the contract occur.
In 2020, the rail operator has started the preparation for the launch of this rolling stock tender by conducting a technical dialogue with potential vehicle manufacturers. Thanks to this, it was possible to create a description of the needs and requirements necessary to initiate the procedure aimed at selecting the contractor and concluding the contract.
The project for the delivery of 38 push-pull trains and 45 locomotives is included in the list of projects implemented under the National Recovery Plan (NRP).
However, it assumes the implementation of the entire project by the end of 2026. Due to the specification of a new deadline for the delivery of vehicles up to 54 months from the date of signing the contract, it is not possible to maintain the indicated deadline. In order to responsibly use the funds from the National Recovery Plan, the company, together with the Ministry of Infrastructure, applied to the European Commission to transfer them to other rolling stock projects. The purchase of push-pull vehicles together with locomotives will be financed from other funds provided for in the development strategy, such as the external financing, own funds or funds from the issue of bonds.
Specifications for the rolling stock tender
The order includes 38 control cars, 228 middle cars and 45 multi-system electric locomotives.
The locomotives will be adapted to operate in push-pull mode. This means that they can both push and pull trains, which reduces the need for shunting work when the train is going in the opposite direction. In addition, the vehicles covered by the order, after obtaining additional approval, will also be able to travel on the railway network in the Czech Republic. The electric locomotives will also be able to drive trains of classic coaches, which will increase the operational flexibility of the carrier.
The double-decker trains will be a novelty in the PKP Intercity fleet. They will allow efficient service for passengers traveling between the largest Polish agglomerations. The new trains will have a capacity of up to 700 passengers, which will be offered more comfort and amenities.
The technical capabilities of the vehicles will be adapted to the modernised railway lines, equipped with the ETCS, which will allow for travel at speeds of up to 200 km/h.
The double-decker train will have seven carriages, which will provide plenty of seating. The configuration of the trainset also allows flexible adaptation of the vehicle to the demand on each route and enables the operation of the trainsets in push-pull mode in various variants from 2 to 10 middle cars. The steering car will have first-class seats and a quiet zone, while the middle universal cars will provide second-class seats, a quiet zone and space for transporting bicycles or skis. The middle cars will offer second-class seats, including for families with children, space for vending machines and a conductor’s compartment.
The trains will have a completely new design and will also be equipped with a number of amenities that are becoming standard in the carrier’s trains.Passengers will use air-conditioned carriages with 230V and USB sockets.Wi-Fi access will also be provided.In the interests of passenger safety, a monitoring system and defibrillators will be used in the carriages.The vehicles will be adapted to the needs of wheelchair users and families with children.
The coaches will also be able to be used in classic trains, then only in the pull function, like the other carriages of the operator. The selected contractor will be responsible for the provision of technical maintenance services for the locomotives for the period indicated in the offer, but not less than 60 months.
By 2030, PKP Intercity plans to run about twice as many trains, increase the number of passengers to almost 90 million annually and offer travellers a high standard of travel. In order to achieve this, the company has adopted the strategy to invest in new rolling stock and renew the existing trains and locomotives for which a PLN 27 billion (ERU 6 billion) budget has been allocated.
One of the key elements of the strategy is this rolling stock tender that will provide fast and rapid services as well as an increased capacity as the new vehicles will be able to carry up to 700 passengers at a time. PKP Intercity says that “it is particularly important that the project to purchase this type of rolling stock is implemented and that the vehicles are delivered in the coming years.”
Recently, the Polish rail operator has ordered from Newag 5 additional multi-system electric locomotives bringing the entire number of vehicles to 15 vehicles under the framework agreement signed in 2021. PLN 388 million (EUR 87.4 million) is the value of this entire order.
In addition, in March, PKP Intercity signed another contract with Newag for the purchase of 20 Griffin electric locomotives worth PLN 551.4 million (EUR 117.2 million). They will be delivered in February 2024 and will be able of running at 160 km/h on the rail routes connecting the major Polish cities.
According to the company’s rolling stock procurement schedule, this year the company expects to sign the framework agreement for the supply of 300 new coaches with an option for 150 additional vehicles. The tender was launched in November 2022 and includes the delivery of railcars in seven design configurations.
In 2022, PKP Intercity transported 59 million passengers, a record increase from 49 million (in 2019). When releasing the statistics, the operator said that this historic figure is due to the rolling stock investment programme which provides passengers with modern, comfortable and faster services.