Polish rail to get a major facelift within next four years

The Polish Rail InterCity (PKP) will be restructured into a joint stock company with plans for the future to release its shares on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The public transport carrier is promising that within four years passengers will be traveling in comfort and with greater efficiency. PKP InterCity wants to compete with the airlines in transporting commuters across the country.

According to Gazeta Prawna, Czeslaw Warsewicz the CEO of PKP InterCity assured ticket prices for rail travel will not increase with the onset of the new year. Despite inflation and an increase in petrol prices as well as employee wages, PKP stands firm not to increase its fares unless there is grave reason to do so. Currently the transport company is negotiating with PKP Cargo from which PKP InterCity leases its electric locomotives.

PKP Cargo is demanding higher leasing fees. Warsewicz assures PKP InterCity has plans to become more self-reliant in order to minimize costs. It has purchased 10 of its own electric locomotive engines, which will be in operation within two years time. The company is also taking into consideration leasing locomotives from other suppliers outside of Poland.

Gazeta Prawna reports PKP InterCity is also preparing to make a public debut on the Warsaw Stock Exchane (WSE). Plans to float shares on other international exchanges are being taken into consideration for the following years. According to Warsewicz, entering the stock exchange is a priority for PKP InterCIty as it must make up for the time lost and modernize the rail company. The investment plan foresees 2.7 bln zloty spent within four years time. About 1.5 bln zloty is to be spent on 20 new speed trains, with the tender for the purchase of them to be announced in the next 3 months. Some 300 train carriages are to be modernized with 250 already being renovated.

The company has also issued a public tender for the purchase of 30 new carriages. PKP InterCity will also either renovate completely or purchase 50 new restaurant carts, spending around 180 mln zloty.

The bid to operate the restaurant has been won by Wars. The company has serviced trains in the previous years and was already once rejected by PKP InterCity, with Wars carriages being removed early this year. Warsewicz claims the company made the best offer in the tender and had to prove it is capable of offering a better service than it has in the past. The company has undergone restructuralization.

To accommodate business travel, PKP Intercity is also looking to develop its “hot spot” wireless connections at the major train stations within Poland. Plans are also being considered for making internet connection available within the trains themselves. All new carriages are equipped with electrical sockets for laptops and mobiles.

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