The European Commission has adopted two major Polish rail investment projects through its Cohesion Policy funding mechanism.
Since Poland joined the EU in 2004, it has become the bloc’s largest recipient of Cohesion Policy funding, which is aimed at reducing economic and social disparities between regions across the EU. The Commission’s Polish rail investment will support the purchase of more than 930 platform wagons, at a total of just over €43m, to shore up the provision of goods transport services in Poland. The wagons, which will cover 91 rail routes across the country, are expected to accelerate the transition of goods transport from road to rail in accordance with targets on emissions reduction and decarbonisation in Poland.
A further €838m, meanwhile, will go towards modernising upgrades to a 214.5km section of rail network between the central Polish province of Łódzkie and the Śląskie province, in Southern Poland. The upgrades, which will include maintenance projects such as replacing worn and damaged rail track surfaces, reinforcing the ground underneath them and constructing new bridges and viaducts, are aimed at improving the provision of rail transport services for both passengers and freight. Further upgrades will include improvements to passenger safety protocols and access for passengers with reduced mobility. Overall, the investment is expected to shorten cargo journeys by up to 37 minutes; while the journey time for passengers travelling between regions should be reduced by just under 30 minutes.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy, Enlargement Negotiations and Regional Policy, said: “Seamless railway connections for passengers and freight will boost territorial cohesion in Poland while ensuring better quality of air in the country in the long run. This is another Cohesion Policy success story.”
The Commission has proposed additional investment in Poland of more than €72bn via the Cohesion Policy between 2021 and 2027, with the goal of achieving a competitive, sustainable Polish economy.