Rolling stock

Polish producers of railway rolling stock had many orders in 2015. Quite the opposite, with regard to the market competition growing year on year they mobilised their forces even more strongly and diversified their activities not only by producing new railway vehicles in Poland but also by intensifying their activities abroad. Not only do the orders refer to the rolling stock but also to other rail vehicles such as tramways and metrotrains, as well as to the refurbishment and long-term maintenance ofthe rolling stock etc. It is also worth mentioning that the rapid growthin the performance of orders resulted from the fact that by December 2015 the carriers had to account for the utilisation of funds from the EU perspective 2007—2013.

 

PESA at a full speed
At the end of 2014 everyone in Poland waited impatiently for the first trip ofthe Express InterCity Premium operated by PKP Intercity, called Pendolino by Alstom. In turn, on 29 December 2015 the first of 20 electric multipleunits Dart ordered from PESA by PKP Intercity, called the Polish Pendolino, was launched. The vehicles were supposed to be delivered by 30 October 2015 but the producer from Bydgoszcz failed to complete the orders ontime. By the end of 2015 PESA managed to manufacture all the ordered Darts and prepare them for acceptance. Previously, the producer signedan agreement with PKP Intercity under which PESA will receive funds forrespective vehicles only upon their final acceptance from the carrier, whichcan take several weeks. The producer also undertook to cover all costs connected with the delay in the order, including liquidated damages oftens of thousands zlotys for each day of delay per vehicle. The value ofthe contract including the delivery of 20 Darts with 15-year maintenance service exceeds 1.3 billion zlotys.

By the end of 2015 PESA had to fulfil contracts covering ca. 150 trains and tramways. Apart from Darts (ED161) by the end of the year the producer handed over 24 vehicles (with a value totalling PLN 267 million) ordered by Koleje Mazowieckie — Sundeck double-decker carriages and the Gama locomotive. PESA also completed an order of five bi-directional Swing tramways to run in the streets of Toruń (contract worth PLN 46.5 million).

In turn, on 30 December 2015 the City Transport Company in Łódź confirmed the acceptance of 22 Swing trams ordered from PESA. In addition, by the end of the year PESA completed orders for 36 “Krakowiak” trams for the city of Kraków, 12 Swings for Bydgoszcz and 85 vehicles for Tramwaje Warszawskie in Warsaw (56 after final acceptance, 29 conditionally accepted).In January 2016 the Ministry of Development informed that more than PLN 1.9 billion of grants allocated to rolling stock produced by the company from Bydgoszcz was utilised in full. It was a consequence of the “Recovery programme for the funds of the Cohesion Policy 2007—2013”,implemented by the ministry, assuming conditional acceptance of 70 vehiclesproduced by PESA (including 13 Darts and 57 tramways in total).

The producer seriously considers conquering foreign markets, mainly in Germany, Italy or Eastern European countries although, according to the President Tomasz Zaboklicki, it is not that simple. At the beginning of 2015 PESA lost an order worth about PLN 140 million concerning the delivery of 12 diesel Link multiple units for the German Netineria. Also, the performance of the contract concerning the delivery of 120 Fokstrot tramways for Moscow also faces some problems.

Half of them are already in use in the streets of Russia but there are problems with accounting for the remaining 60 vehicles because of the decrease in the value of rouble in comparison to euro. At the same time, PESA is carrying out the largest contract in its history — the delivery of 470 Links for Deutsche Bahn. For the time being, an order of 70 vehicles to be delivered by PESA in 2017 has been confirmed. The producer is also carrying out an order for the Italian carrier Trenitalia concerning the delivery of 40 diesel ATR 220 multiple units.

It is worth emphasizing that in 2015 PESA also produced new vehicles for the needs of the original project of the Pomeranian Agglomeration Railway (PKA). The company paid more than PLN 114 million for 10 diesel multiple units operated by SKM Trójmiasto. The maiden trip of PKA trains took place on 30 August 2015 from the Lech Wałęsa Airport to Gdańsk Brętowo station.

Newag — less orders but good forecasts
The year 2015 was perhaps less spectacular but effective for Newag from Nowy Sącz whose stock of orders amounted to ca. PLN 967 million and whose revenues will exceed PLN 1.2 billion. The company informed that from August 2014 to August 2015 the net value of all contracts with PKP Intercity amounted to PLN 41 million 467 thousand, which corresponds to more than 10% of the producer’s capital.

In the discussed period Newag supplied 32 electric multiple Impuls units to local carriers. It is also worth mentioning that on 29 August 2015,the 45 WE unit made for Koleje Mazowieckie during tests on the Central Mainline attained a speed of 226 km/h.

Newag could not complain about the lack of orders. Opolskie voivodeship ordered five EMUs, and SKM Trójmiasto — two Impuls EMUs. Newag also succeeded in obtaining orders of locomotives: five electric Dragon locomotives for Freightliner PL (all to be supplied by July 2016) and the lease of five 4-axle Griffin locomotives for Lotos Kolej.

The producer from Nowy Sącz, similar to PESA, also planned expansion outside Poland. In December 2015 the Sicilian carrier FCE received four narrow-gauge diesel Vulcano multiple units for railway service around Mount Etna. The company, in consortium with Siemens, also won a contract for the delivery of 20 three-element vehicles for the metro in Sophia (for PLN 158 million) and the delivery of five Impuls II EMUs for the Italian FSE. Newag will also modernise M62 diesel locomotives for Skinest Rail Ukraine.

In September 2015 the National Centre for Research and Development decided to grant PLN 10 million to Newag’s project of building a prototype of a six-axle multi-system locomotive for pulling heavy freight trains (in the “Demonstrator” competition).

Demand for Flirt...
Newag, in consortium with Stadler Polska, also produced 20 Flirt3 electric multiple units for PKP Intercity. The scope of the contract worth PLN 1 billion 621 million includes 15 years’ maintenance service. The order was completed in Stadler’s factory in Siedlce. The trains were launched, according to the new timetable, on 13 December 2015.
They provide service on the following lines: Warsaw—Bydgoszcz, Olsztyn—Kraków, Gdynia—Katowice, Kraków—Szczecin.

Previously, in February 2015, Stadler Polska handed over 20 Flirt3 EMUs to the Łódź Agglomeration Railway (ŁKA). The value of the contract exceeded PLN 457 million. An ŁKA train was the first to be granted approval from the Railway Transport Office, which was equivalent to confirmation of compliance with Technical Interoperability Specifications (TIS).

Stadler’s works in Siedlce are now very busy because in 2015 the company signed a contract totalling PLN 300 million for the construction of vehicles for two Italian carriers: four diesel GTW multiple units for Ferrovienord and seven five-element Flirts for TPER. Also, the Netherlands reported a requirement for Stadler’s Flirts.

By the end of 2016 the producer is to make 58 EMUs for Dutch national railways. Stadler Polska, by the end of 2016, must produce a few dozen state-of-the-art Flirts, which means that the whole crew of 500 people can be sure they will retain their jobs.

Huge investments by PKP IC
PKP Intercity boasts that now most of the company’s rolling stock is new or modernised. At the end of 2015 the carrier’s rolling stock consisted of 263 new and modernised carriages. The passenger carrier can boast10 rolling stock projects completed at a cost of PLN 5.5 billion. As a part ofa huge investment programme the above-mentioned Darts and Flirts were purchased along with carriages and locomotives. In addition, carriages that had been in stock for a long time were modernised. Furthermore, the programme covered the purchase of 20 Pendolinos, modernisation of 68 carriages, and at the second stage 150 carriages for handling transports on the Przemyśl—Szczecin line, the purchase of 25 carriages for the Wrocław——Gdynia line, the purchase of the above-mentioned Flirts, the purchase of 10 Gama diesel locomotives, modernisation of 20 diesel locomotives, the purchase of 20 carriages for the Warsaw—Szczecin route, purchase of the above-mentioned Darts and construction of a technical maintenance workshop for the trains.

Under the new EU perspective PKP Intercity wants to allocate PLN 1.4 billion to rolling stock refurbishment: modernisation of 400 carriages and about 60 locomotives. Repairs will be performed at service stations and will consume about PLN 400 million.

Better quality in the regions
The carrier Przewozy Regionalne also made ambitious plans regarding rolling stock — by the end of 2018 it wants to have 60 per cent new and modernised rolling stock. Currently the average age of the carrier’s vehicles is around 40 years, but in three years this is supposed to be reduced by half. PR announced that in 2016——2018 it would have 43 vehicles modernised. Ongoing repairs such as painting, replacement of sanitary units in toilets or installation of passenger information systems will be performed on 180 units. The expected cost of the entire carrier’s investment programme is PLN 500million.

Przewozy Regionalne has already commenced the first stage of refurbishment. During the Trako International Railway Fairin Gdańsk, in September 2015,the first of 21 electric multiple units modernised by ZNTK Mińsk Mazowiecki was presented. These units are informally referred to as “tigers” due to the orange and black colouring.

Both, PKP Intercity and Przewozy Regionalne, investing in modern rolling stock and modernising the existing one, strive to improve the travel comfort of passengers. Standard conveniences in the vehicles include air-conditioning, new toilets, more comfortable seats, a public address system, aswell as facilities for the disabled.

Freight carriers also make investments
PKP Cargo, planning foreign expansion, is also investing in new rolling stock. This will require multi-system locomotives, therefore in 2015 the carrier purchased 15 multi-system Vectron locomotives made by Siemens. The contract is worth around PLN 300 million. The first vehicles will be supplied soon — the last will be delivered to the carrier in 2017.

PKP Cargo also plans to develop its activities in intermodal transport, so it will purchase a larger number of intermodal platforms in the coming years. Some time ago, the carrier considered producing them itself; however, it is not known whether the plans will be put into effect.

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© Całość praw autorskich - Antoni Bochen, Filip Wiśniewski