The second construction tender for the 4 km CPK Lodz tunnel has been announced by Centralny Port Komunikacyjny covering the construction of the receiving chambers at Retkinia and Fabryczna. The bids can be submitted until April 5, 2023 and works expected to start by the end of this year.
“Preparations for the construction of the long-distance tunnel in Łódź are proceeding according to plan, we are not slowing down. For the tunnel, the most advanced CPK investment, we have both a construction design and a package of environmental and location decisions. This year we will start work on the construction of the tunnel,” Radosław Kantak, the board member of CPK said.
The construction of tunnel was divided into three phases. As part of the first, preparatory work will be carried out to strengthen the foundations of the Łódź Community Centre. It will start from the Łódź House of Culture (ŁDK), west of the Łódź Fabryczna station. This will be the location (at Retkinia) of the excavated chamber for the tunnel boring machine TBM, part of the second stage for which the tender has been launched. The last phase covers the drilling of the new tunnel.
The Retkinia chamber, located at the south-western end of the tunnel, will function as a starting shaft for the TBM and will ultimately be a technical facility housing, evacuation area, technical rooms and evacuation staircases. The factory chamber, on the other hand, will be the disassembly shaft for the TBM shield and the turnout chamber.
In Łódź, fast trains will stop at the Łódź Fabryczna station. The exit of the tunnel is planned in the vicinity of the Retkinia housing estate and the existing railway line No. 14 (south-west of Łódź Kaliska). Further on, the route will lead towards Sieradz, past which it will split towards Poznań and Wrocław – the so-called “Y” line that once completed, the journey between Wrocław and Warsaw will be reduced by half, to only 1 hour and 45 minutes, and from Poznań to Warsaw in less than2 hours from currently 3 hours.
In January this year, the CPK company applied for funding for the construction of the Łódź Fabryczna – Łódź Retkinia section, the high-speed tunnel, from the funds of the EU Connecting Europe Facility CEF2. Earlier, the company received funding in the amount of PLN 60 million (EUR 12.8 million) from CEF Transport Reflow for the preparation of his project.
The CPK Lodz tunnel will be part of the high-speed rail system linking Warsaw and Łódź and between Łódź and Wrocław. The company already has an investor variant and an application for an environmental decision for the 140 km Warsaw-Łódź HSR, the first section and the backbone of the new high-speed network in Poland, allowing trains to run at 250 km/h. The line is designed for a speed of 350 km/h and will reduce the travel time between the two cities to around 45 minutes from currently an hour and a half.
The investor’s preferred route for the 200 km from Łódź to Wrocław is also ready. Since December 2022, there has also been an investor variant for the 40 km Łętownia – Rzeszów section.
The CPK tunnel is not the only underground railway crossing in Łódź. PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe constructs a tunnel for agglomeration traffic, also through Łódź Fabryczna station, but the further route is different as three new railway stops will be built at Śródmieście, Polesie and Koziny. Then the PLK tunnel will fork north to the Łódź Żabieniec station and south to the Łódź Kaliska station.
CPK has already developed feasibility studies for 1,500 km of the 2,000 km of planned “spokes” and company’s plans to create a new transport system cover the modernisation of 3,700 km of existing lines. CPK system comprises 10 spokes which would include of new rail sections and modernised lines. The contract to design the 10 spokes has an estimated value of PLN 8.6 billion (EUR 1.8 billion) over eight years. In Łódź Voivodeship, CPK will construct 219 km of new rail lines while PKP PLK will modernise 305 of existing rail infrastructure.
CPK is committed to establish a new and modern rail network in Poland that will be also connected to the high-speed rail system of the European countries. In January, the company signed an agreement with Správa železnic and RB Rail to build and create the Three Seas high-speed rail system.