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CPK to buy more than 100 trains

posted on 11th Nov 2023 19:52

On 11 November 2023, the CPK rolling stock resolution has been adopted by the government. The CPK rolling stock company will purchase more than 100 EMUs, which will then be leased to railway operators as part of the rolling stock pool. The new high-speed trains for CPK will have to run at operating speeds of up to 250 km/h, have two voltage systems, a passenger information system that takes airport data into account, and feature energy efficiency and high passenger comfort.

The approved Concept for the Provision of Passenger Rolling Stock in Connection with the Implementation of the CPK Programme provides for the establishment by CPK of a subsidiary company whose main task will be the purchase and management of the rolling stock required to serve the future high speed lines. According to the adopted resolution, the new rolling stock will be compliant with the TSI and will meet a number of technical and quality requirements ensuring the safety and comfort of travellers:

- max. speed 250 km/h,
- voltages 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC,
- meeting the requirements of people with disabilities,
- compatibility of ATPs,
- ETCS meeting the latest interoperability requirements,
- passenger information system integrating airport information and on-board digital signage technology,
- passenger conveniences such as multi-functional areas, individual lighting and USB chargers.

‘Even the best railway infrastructure cannot function without modern trains. Therefore, the purchase of rolling stock for the CPK lines should be conducted in a well-thought-out and comprehensive manner. We are convinced that Polish companies will be involved in the manufacture of the trains and that this purchase should also form a boost for our economy,’ says the Deputy Minister of Funds and Regional Policy, Marcin Horała, the government plenipotentiary for CPK.

The rolling stock project is part of CPK's rail investments, which are aimed at building HSLs, completing the rail network, reducing journey times and increasing the share of rail in passenger and freight transport. According to the schedule, priority will be given to the purchase of rolling stock to be used in passenger transport on Poland's first HSL Warszawa - CPK - Łódź, which will be launched with the commencement of commercial operations at CPK airport.
Rolling stock pool
On the basis of the resolution, CPK will be able to establish a rolling stock pool. This is a solution that works well in many Western European railway markets. Operators operating under this model use trains purchased from manufacturers in large numbers, which they then lease to railway operators on a tender basis under multi-year contracts. For example, in the United Kingdom in 2019 87% of the rolling stock used by operators belonged to three such companies.
‘Implementation of the railway component under the CPK programme will generate demand for modern rolling stock currently unavailable on the Polish market. CPK is the first project that takes a comprehensive approach to rail transport, creating opportunities for railway operators to save on capital expenditure and grow at the same time. We believe that, as with the approach to liberalising the rail market, it is worth taking advantage of international experience and know-how. The rolling stock pool concept is an attractive option allowing operators to lease modern rolling stock adapted to the CPK infrastructure,’ says Mikołaj Wild, CEO of CPK.

According to the adopted resolution, the rolling stock company established by CPK will be able to attract minority investors - private or public. It will be financed to a significant extent through debt instruments, e. g. by banks, investment funds, insurance companies and pension funds
Estimated investment expenditures on new vehicles between 2024 and 2030 should reach 8.7 billion PLN (according to the prices from the first half of 2023), and a total of 16 - 20 billion PLN by 2035. The assumptions are that a large part of them will feed the Polish economy, e. g. the market of rolling stock manufacturers and system sub-suppliers.
According to the provisions of the rolling stock resolution, CPK plans to carry out further analyses on the functional characteristics of the rolling stock before establishing a rolling stock company. It will also carry out consultations with railway operators and other organisations, such as those representing people with disabilities, in order to take the maximum account of their needs.
The CPK effect
Since 2015, there has been an increase in the number of passengers travelling by rail in Poland (apart from the temporary collapse of the market caused by COVID-19). Since 2021, statistics from the UTK have shown an increasing number of travellers. In 2022, the number reached 342 million, thus surpassing the best performance so far in 2019.
Predictions are that there will be a CPK effect, i. e. another dynamic increase in passengers, once Poland's first HSL services become operational. Analyses performed with the Passenger Transport Model (PMT), a CPK model for traffic forecasting, indicate that the new CPK lines will contribute to a doubling of the passengers travelling by long-distance trains in Poland by 2050.
This means high demand for rolling stock, which will further increase the need to replace some of the trainsets in service. Figures published by UTK show that in the next 10 years, around 90 % of passenger coaches and 70 % of EMUs will be over 40 years old, qualifying them for decommissioning.

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