PKP modernizes stations

Polish Railway Lines (PKP) plans to spend more than 30 mln zloty in 2008 to modernize railway stations in Poland. Among many changes the passengers will notice will be video-monitor security systems at 19 stations, including Opole, Poznan, Lodz, Torun and JeleniaGora.

Poland must improve its infrastructure to comply with EU standards. The quality of the Polish rail infrastructure and its terminals and stations is still poor, hampering both passenger and freight service. That’s why so much money will be invested in rail transport. More than 21 mln zloty will be spent in Zielona Gora, Tarnow and Gorzow Wielkopolski.

PKP, the state-owned railway company, in 2008 will also choose financial partners to build new railway stations in Katowice and Warsaw. The construction will take place during 2009 and 2010.

However, many people oppose a new station in Katowice. The main reason is the unique construction of the 1972 building, an example of modern architecture. The station’s main hall was designed by recognized Polish architects of the period: Waclaw Klyszewski, Jerzy Mokrzynski and Eugeniusz Wierzbicki. Its construction was supervized by Waclaw Zalewski. The hall’s unique shape was tailored to the shifting earth in the former coal mining region.

Poland has about 50 big railway stations, which are used each year by 60 mln passengers. Poland’s rail system is the third largest in Europe.

PKP was formed in 2001, when the state-owned Polish Railway Lines was restructured to meet EU guidelines. It operates passenger rail services, such as PKP Intercity and PKP Regional, as well as freight transport (PKP Cargo).

The company also manages about 3,200 train stations throughout the country.

PKP has various other entities: telecommunications, food service, energy and IT services. With the EU opening borders for railway systems to compete, PKP is looking to expand outside of Poland.

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