Punctual, comfortable and safe — passengers most often use these words to describe their travelling experience by Łódzka Kolej Aglomeracyjna (ŁKA, Łódź Agglomeration Railway). The carrier, despite being quite a young company, has already earned the favour and trust of travellers.
Over the first two years, 3.5 million people travelled on ŁKA trains and every month new passengers use their service. The company is developing a network of connections and introducing new ticket selling channels and other interesting solutions to make travelling on ŁKA trains a pleasurable experience.
Łódź Agglomeration Railway was set up on 10 May 2010 by the Local Government of Łódź Voivodeship. It commenced its operation as a carrier after four years on the route Łódź Kaliska—Sieradz. Subsequent months were a period of intensive efforts to put the following connections into use by the end of 2014: Łódź Widzew—Zgierz, Łódź Kaliska—Łódź Widzew, Łódź Kaliska—Łowicz and Łódź Widzew—Koluszki. The company closed the first year of carriages by inaugurating the connection to Kutno. ŁKA trains stop at 54 stations, so it provides a connection between the capital city of the region and smaller towns and villages. According to data provided by the Office of Railway Transport, the rolling stock owned by the company reaches its destinations with 96% rate of punctuality.
The second year of transport services provided by ŁKA is a period when subsequent connections are put into operation on longer distances. On 4 January 2016, the trains operated by the Company set off on a journey to Skierniewice for the first time, and three months later they travelled to Warsaw. The weekend connections between the capital city of the region and the capital city of Poland enjoy increasing interest so ŁKA plans further development of transport activities on this route.
The Company developed and improved a system to sell ŁKA train tickets. They can be purchased: from ticket vending machines, from the train staff, online and via mobile applications. Traditional tickets are also available at our own ticket offices, and ticket offices run by agencies and other carriers. The company is continuously searching for new solutions to increase the availability of tickets to travellers.
Łódź Agglomeration Railway owns 20 electric multiple units FLIRT3. They are fully sustainable, have excellent soundproof characteristics and are very comfortable. In addition, they are adapted to transporting disabled passengers, baby carriages and bicycles. They are fitted with air-conditioning units, LED displays, electric sockets and free Wi-Fi. Nice-looking baby changing tables are available in toilets. Subsequent trains to be supplied to the company in 2018 will be equally convenient and comfortable. ŁKA ordered 14 three-unit vehicles with contractually guaranteed 12 years of maintenance service.
Łódź Agglomeration Railway has its own technical facilities at the hub station Łódź Widzew. It is one of the state-of-the-art facilities of this type in Europe, referred to as the “gem of Polish railways”. The facility is fitted with new generation equipment for repairs and current maintenance of vehicles. The fully environment-friendly, closed water cycle train wash is worth mentioning. 70% of water used for washing the trains is recycled to a treatment plant and reused.