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Centralny Port Komunikacyjny – strategic investment for the security of Poland and Central and Eastern Europe

Poland’s planned new hub is what NATO needs in terms of military mobility and what the European Union has in mind when discussing military mobility, General Ben Hodges, former commander of US ground forces in Europe, stated for Polish Press Agency. Events beyond our eastern border show that these words are even more relevant today.

Centralny Port Komunikacyjny is not just an airport – it is Poland’s new transport system, at the centre of which there will be located a hub between Warsaw and Łódź. Its most important premise assumes the integration of air, rail and road transport. As part of this project, Centralny Port Komunikacyjny will be built at a distance of 37 km west of Warsaw, within an area of approx. 40 km2; in the first phase, it will have the capacity of 40 million passengers per year.

The CPK will also include rail investments: a transport hub at the airport and a network of new high-speed lines nearly 2,000 km long. They will shorten a travel between Warsaw and the largest Polish cities to no more than 2.5 hours.

Dual use – more than one purpose

CPK is planned as a civil airport, but it will also have an additional role: it will increase the security of Poland and Central and Eastern Europe. In times of armed conflict, airports – including civilian ones – are sometimes used for the transfer of military units, equipment, goods or humanitarian aid and also by supporting forces as well as rapid reaction forces.

In military terminology, this mechanism is called ‘dual use’, which means dual purpose infrastructure. This way it can be used by NATO forces whenever necessary.

We need depth and redundancy in transportation infrastructure.  The CPK project will add a capability and capacity that no other node in Poland (or elsewhere in Eastern Europe) can match

added gen. Hodges.

In case of a threat of aggression against Poland or the Baltic countries, the airport could be used by heavy transport aircraft carrying troops from the American continent and Western European along with heavy combat equipment

Told Polska Press in an interview dr Bogusław Samol, Lieutenant General and director of the Institute of Military Strategy at the Warsaw’s War Studies University.

Intermodal investment

A significant advantage of CPK will also be intermodality and an excellent connection of the airport with every part of Poland and countries all over Europe, especially its central and eastern part. Centralny Port Komunikacyjny will be part of a rail hub at the centre of a new 1981 km long network. The airport’s location near the A2 motorway and halfway between Warsaw and Łódź will also provide convenient integration with the road network.

Thanks to these elements, it will be possible to reload equipment or goods onto rail or road transport in no time. This way it will be possible to move people or cargo efficiently from the centre of Poland to any part of Europe.

The CPK, despite the nature of a civilian investment, also has a significant impact on the level of defense of our country. Of course, it will not be a military base, but an extremely important point on NATO’s eastern flank – If only because of the significant increase in the so-called military mobility

emphasises deputy infrastructure minister Marcin Horała, the government plenipotentiary for the CPK.

Key element of the eastern flank

Many experts say that Poland needs an airport with high capacity, capable of operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, adapted to handle cargo (goods), connected to motorways and the rail network – in other words, just like the plan CPK. Such infrastructure will contribute to increased operational mobility on NATO’s eastern flank.

The current political and military situation in the vicinity of NATO’s eastern flank and the war in Ukraine actually confirm the validity of the decisions taken by the Polish state authorities in this regard. The implementation of this project must take into account the need to provide it with anti-missile and anti-aircraft defence, both in peacetime and in wartime, as the airport will become a facility of strategic importance from the point of view of benefits for the economy and defence of the Polish state. In addition, the airport will also play a strategic role for our allies in the event of need for a quick transfer of NATO forces to the eastern flank

Gen. Samol adds.

Investment needed urgently

The CPK company, which is set up to carry out this investment, has been consulting with the Polish military on the assumed parameters and design data for the new airport and railway lines since 2019. This is happening consistently even now, e.g. as part of the development of the airport master plan or feasibility studies for the CPK hub and the “railway spokes”, i.e. the railway lines to be built as part of CPK.

Centralny Port Komunikacyjny and CPK railway investments can be compared to the human heart and circulatory system. Efficient blood circulation not only enables us to function fruitfully in everyday life, but can even determine our survival in crisis situations. Due to its place on the map, the Republic of Poland has already been predestined to be one of the main European hubs and the EU’s gateway to the East for people and goods in times of peace.

Now, even more so, as a result of the Russian attack on Ukraine, the most important streams of people, military equipment and aid for the Ukrainian population are merging in Poland. On this occasion, we gather invaluable experience in the field of ensuring and securing logistics in crisis situations, or even situations close to an armed conflict. It becomes obvious that we need the most efficient transport system that will function smoothly in all the most demanding situations. At the same time, we need to properly secure this new bloodstream of our economy against attacks by our enemies. The heart of the Polish transport system must never stop working

explains Mikołaj Wild, CEO of the CPK.

According to forecasts prepared by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the assumed annual capacity of Centralny Port Komunikacyjny – in the so-called base scenario – should amount to 40 million passengers per year. The forecasts have been adjusted for the COVID-19 effect, the negative effects of which – as indicated by the forecasts – should be overcome in 2024. According to IATA, this is when the aviation market is expected to return to its pre-pandemic condition.

Because of the events we are witnessing: the pandemic, the Russian aggression against Ukraine and all other unforeseen circumstances, this project is included in the priorities of the Polish state. It will be a signal to the world that large aircraft and large cargoes can come to our region. Bearing in mind all our today’s talks, especially the security of Poland, this is an investment needed urgently

Brigadier Dariusz Wroński, former chief of the Aeromobile and Motorised Forces, said at the beginning of March for “Rzeczpospolita” daily.

Marcin Horała, the government plenipotentiary for the CPK, and Mikołaj Wild, CEO of CPK, attended the conference.

The CPK Project is a large-scale multimodal transport hub project that includes the construction of a new hub airport to take over commercial traffic from existing Warsaw Chopin Airport. The project includes also construction of ca. 2000 km of railways, 400 km of expressways and motorways as well as new airport city.

Once CPK is developed, it will be the only hub airport in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)   capable of handling about 40 million passengers in 2035 and 60 million passengers in 2055.

During conferences held on June 29th, CPK SPV and IIAC presented opportunities for the potential engagement of other Korean companies in the CPK project. Both sides explored options for joint investment involvement as well as other ways of cooperation on the construction of Centralny Port Komunikacyjny.

IIAC emphasized the joint participation of overseas business with domestic competent companies and held a separate session to have in-depth discussions on the formation of Team Korea.

Since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in December 2021, both companies have deepened cooperation through a Financial Working Group. Following the progress of the project, CPK SPV has initiated a process of selecting a Strategic Operational Partner for the CPK with IIAC invited as a participant in the tender. CPK SPV and IIAC also continued the implementation of the Strategic Advisor contract (awarded to IIAC in a competitive tender) which has begun in January 2021 and includes both consulting services and trainings.

On June 28th IIAC also hosted Polish-Korean workshop to discuss conditions of its potential engagment as a Strategic Operational Partner for CPK. The discussed role would possibly go far beyond providing advisory services and would include direct influence on the CPK project.

Through these joint market-sounding conferences, we plan to continue the momentum of IIAC’s overseas business by expanding collaboration with CPK as well as domestic companies willing to participate in the project. By exporting a K-Airport platform in the European market, IIAC will become the unquestionable global airport operator.

IIAC CEO Kim Kyung-Wook commented:

Meetings we held in South Korea are an important part of the process of choosing the best Strategic Operational Partner as well as financial partner for CPK. Due to our cooperation so far and worldwide reputation, Incheon Airport has a special place in this procedure. We have been cooperating with IIAC for 1,5 years as Strategic Advisor and we are open to take this cooperation to the next level. I am glad to see that South Korea is committed to work with us to deliver the biggest Infrastructure investment in CEE region.

CPK SPV CEO Mikołaj Wild commented:

Minister Won Hee-ryong and Deputy Minister Marcin Horała expressed their willingness to continue and deepen the existing bilateral cooperation within the CPK project and to make it long-term one. In this context, they mentioned the forecasts of institutions such as IATA, which show that even in today’s difficult times, the CPK project remains an attractive and economically viable investment.

During the meeting, the sides thoroughly discussed the cooperation between Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) and CPK Sp. z o.o. and plans for the coming months in this regard. Both sides expressed their intention to raise its level by mid-2023. The ministers also discussed the prospects for the participation of other, experienced Korean companies in the subsequent stages of the CPK project, taking into account the applicable legal conditions. Deputy Minister Marcin Horała thanked Minister Won for support in the development of cooperation with Korean entities. Both ministers pledged to ensure the adequate engagement of both sides at all levels, and Deputy Minister Horała invited Minister Won to pay a visit to Poland.

The meeting is the first and  main item on the agenda of the visit of the Government Plenipotentiary for CPK to the Republic of Korea, during which, together with the board of the CPK company, he will hold a series of meetings, incl. with Incheon International Airport Corporation, Korea National Railway, Korea Development Bank, and Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation.

The Financial Partner’s role will be, in particular: providing a contribution to cover the shares it takes up in the Airport Component SPV, participation in organization of financing for the construction of the Centralny Port Komunikacyjny Airport and further financial resources to support its operations.

Therefore, the CPK publishes the following call for expression of interest in the process, which is addressed particularly to entities interested in financial participation and experienced in investments in the airport sector.

More information about the CPK and the process of partner selection can be found in the attached material.

The planned long-distance CPK tunnel in Łódź is the most advanced of CPK’s investments. The 4 km underground crossing already has an environmental decision and has entered the design phase in last November. In the first half of March, the company plans to receive the so-called programme and spatial concept of the tunnel, and a month later, to apply for the location decision (another important milestone).

According to the schedules, after obtaining the location decision in the fourth quarter of this year, the CPK Company plans to submit – together with the complete building permit design and arrangements concerning, among others, the determination of work phases – an application for a building permit.

The construction of the Łódź-CPK-Warsaw High-Speed Rail, which includes a tunnel in Łódź, is very good news for residents. All CPK-related investments, including the construction of the CPK, high-speed railway lines to Warsaw, Wrocław and Poznań and the widening of the A2 motorway, are a great development opportunity for Łódź and the entire voivodeship

says Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Gliński, Minister of Culture and National Heritage.

Łódź, together with the region, will be one of the largest beneficiaries of the CPK airport and railway investments. Thanks to them we will be able to travel from the voivodeship’s capital more often and faster to the largest cities in Poland, e.g. toWarsaw in 45 minutes (today it takes twice as long), and to Wrocław and Poznań in 1 hour 10 minutes (instead of the current 3 hours)

emphasises Deputy Infrastructure Minister Marcin Horała, the Government Plenipotentiary for the CPK.

From the CPK, it will be possible to travel by rail to Łódź at speeds of up to 250 km/h in just half an hour. Within the city, high-speed trains will stop at Łódź Fabryczna station. The tunnel exit to the surface is planned in the vicinity of the Retkinia housing estate and the existing railway line No. 14 (south-west of Łódź Kaliska). Further on, the route will lead towards Sieradz, past which it will fork towards Poznań and Wrocław (the line is called “Y” because of its shape). The CPK Company signed an agreement for co-financing this task in December for the amount of around PLN 60 million from the EU’s CEF (“Connecting Europe”) instrument.

The CPK tunnel is not the only underground railway crossing in Łódź. PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe constructs a tunnel for agglomeration traffic – also through Łódź Fabryczna, but the further route is different – three new railway stops will be built: Śródmieście, Polesie and Koziny. Then the PLK tunnel will fork: north to the Łódź Żabieniec station and south to the Łódź Kaliska station.

 Feasibility studies (FS) are being developed according to schedule for the so-called CPK spoke No. 9, i.e. the railway line that will connect Warsaw with Łódź, Poznań and Wrocław (the so-called Y). This stage is the most advanced for the 140-kilometre section between Warsaw and Łódź, for which planning works have been ongoing since the middle of last year.

To date, the proposed options have been consulted with local government authorities and residents from all the communes between Warsaw and Łódź through which they run. Nearly 19,000 opinions and comments have been submitted to the company and the FS contractor on this matter. It was in response to these that the CPK Company developed corrections and detailed technical solutions (e.g. concerning the use of overpasses and tunnels).

Later this month, the second round of consultations i.e. information meetings – this time online – will begin, which will last until the end of March and during which residents will be able to see a number of options narrowed down to three and the technical solutions proposed for them. It precedes the identification of the so-called investor option, which the CPK Company will submit with the application for an environmental decision in the first half of the year. The next stage is the preparation of construction documentation and the application for a location decision.

In the case of the more than 200-kilometre section between Łódź and Wrocław, consultations on the feasibility study are also progressing consistently. In this matter, detailed design solutions together with technical solutions are to be presented to residents at the turn of March and April – then the second stage of consultations will begin.

For the Łódzkie voivodeship, the CPK investments mean the construction of 219 km of new railway lines by the CPK Company and the modernisation of 305 km of existing railway lines by PKP PLK.

An inseparable part of the CPK investment is the tasks the investor of which is the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways(GDDKiA). The government assumptions are that at the same time as the CPK is opened, the A2 motorway will be widened from its junction with the A1 motorway to the border of Warsaw. From Łódź Północ interchange to Pruszków, the GDDKiA will build a third traffic lane, and on the section from Pruszków to Konotopa – a fourth traffic lane in each direction.

The GDDKiA already has the environmental decision. Market consultations with construction companies are currently ongoing for this investment. According to the GDDKiA schedules, the signing of the contract for design and construction is expected to take place in the turn of 2022 and 2023.

The CPK Company is preparing the construction of 12 railway routes, including 10 so-called spokes, from various regions of Poland to Warsaw and the new airport. In total, there are 30 investment tasks and nearly 2000 km of new railway lines to be completed by the end of 2034.

CPK is currently implementing 10 contracts for feasibility studies (FS) in different parts of Poland. They concern the following railway sections: Warsaw – Łódź, Łódź – Wrocław, Żarów – border with the Czech Republic, Sieradz – Poznań, Katowice – Ostrawa, Łętownia – Rzeszów, Zamość – Bełżec, Ostrołęka – Łomża – Giżycko, CPK – Płock – Włocławek and CPK railway junction. In total, preparatory works are already ongoing on 1,300 km.

The assumed annual capacity of the first stage of the CPK, based on IATA forecasts, is 40 million passengers and 1 million tonnes of freight to be handled in the first stage on two parallel runways. In the airport part, the investment is at the stage of advanced environmental and field surveys, preparation of a master plan and purchase of real properties. In December last year, the company announced its preferred location of the airport. It covers a site of approximately 41 sq km north within the area of three communes: Baranów, Teresin and Wiskitki – on the northern side of the A2 motorway.

The aim of the tender is to select up to eight contractors to whom the CPK company will commission individual tasks under a simplified tender procedure. The estimated total contract value is over PLN 1.7 billion.

The contract scope includes preparatory works for the construction of the CPK Airport, i.e., among others, ground levelling, development of the construction site, construction of temporary facilities, demolitions, connections to the civil engineering infrastructure network for the needs of the investment and other works that do not require preparation of building plans.

Details can be found on the SmartPZP platform. The deadline for submission of tenders is 24 January this year.

“This tender, and ultimately the framework agreement for construction works, is another step that brings us closer to driving the first shovel in 2023. We are counting on the interest of the largest construction companies with experience in significant infrastructure projects,” says Mikołaj Wild, president of the CPK company. “Everything according to the schedule. This year we still plan, among others, to apply for an environmental decision, to select the general designer and to continue to acquire real properties,” he adds.

fot. PPL

The contractors’ tasks will also include notifications of construction works and their completion, surveying works and preparation of as-built documentation. The contract also includes numerous accompanying works and services, such as preparing design documentation and technical specifications for the execution and acceptance of construction works, as well as obtaining administrative decisions, arrangements and opinions necessary to carry out the investment.

We assume that the preparatory works will start as soon as possible. The scope and timing of subsequent works will be adjusted to the processes of obtaining administrative decisions and CPK acquiring further properties. The completion of the preparatory works will coincide with the start of the main works. This will make it possible to shorten the implementation time and maintain an appropriate pace of the investment process.

says Krzysztof Owczarczyk, director of the CPK Airport Programme Implementation Department.

the Company mainly examines conditions and quality criteria, such as the experience of the bidders and the ability to procure construction machinery. In the next step, the offered price and delivery time will play a major role in the implementation of executory contracts.

The framework agreement for construction works is another major CPK company tender. In October, a procedure for designing railway investments worth over PLN 7 billion was announced. Further tenders are planned, including a tender for a contract engineer.

In December last year, the company announced its preferred airport location. It covers an area of approximately 41 sq km within the area of three communes: Baranów, Teresin and Wiskitki. The area occupies the north-western part with an area of about 75 sq km in size from the so-called Area Regulation, which came into force in the middle of this year.

Centralny Port Komunikacyjny, as part of the first phase, will have two runways, each 4,000 m long. In the airport part, the investment is at the stage of advanced environmental and terrain studies, preparation of a Master Plan and purchase of real properties, and in the railway part – at the stage of preparation of feasibility studies (FS) for about 1,000 km of planned lines (e.g. Warsaw-CPK-Łódź-Wrocław-Czech border) of a building permit design for a long-distance tunnel in Łódź.

Transport infrastructure managers have no doubts – after the pandemic ceases, the load of roads and railway lines will not only return to the previous intensity, but will be even higher. Therefore, despite the decrease in transport last year, they do not foresee any changes in their planned investments.

Does the diagnosis underlying the decision to construct the CPK need to be corrected by a pandemic collapse in the carriage of passengers and goods?

We are not yet at this stage of infrastructure development to refer these questions to us,’ stated Mikołaj Wild, President of the Management Board of the Solidarity Transport Hub.

As Wild argued during the debate “Infrastructure investments in the new EU financial perspective”, held within the framework of EEC Trends, as a result of the pandemic, Poland had lost an “overhang” related to the fact that the decision on this investment had been taken in 2017 and not in 2012-2013, but the development of infrastructure in our country had not yet reached such a level as to question the very purpose of this investment. According to Wild, the supplementation of the railway network in Poland will last even two EU perspectives.

We invite you to the second stage of the public consultations on the Strategic Location Study of the Solidarity Transport Hub Investment”. The first phase of the consultations lasted from 10 February to 10 March 2020. During them, more than 146 thousand votes were sent to the STH company, and these votes were subject to a detailed expert analysis. As in the first stage, we would like to identify as early as possible important conditions that may affect the further investment preparation process – for this purpose we would like to read your opinions, comments and conclusions concerning the draft Strategic Location Study of the Solidarity Transport Hub Investment together with the environmental impact forecast.

The currently presented document includes comments on investment routes and in such form, with locally extended transport corridors, the draft SLS is subject to strategic environmental impact assessment. These consultations are held in accordance with the Act of 3 October 2008 on providing access to information on the environment and its protection, participation of the public in the environmental protection and environmental impact assessments (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 234)

The strategic environmental impact assessment (SEIA) is the procedure to which the draft documents determining the framework for the implementation of investments that may have a significant environmental impact are subject, in accordance with the Polish and EU law.

Railway line routes, verified on the basis of comments from the first round of public consultations, are currently the subject of a parallel process and we make them more precise in the dialogue with locally competent local government units. The meetings are carried out in accordance with the programme of preparatory works included in the appendix to the above mentioned consultation report. The routing variants discussed with the local governments are located inside the extended transport corridors from the currently presented document. The objective of the Environmental Impact Forecast submitted together with the draft SLS is to identify and assess the expected environmental impacts resulting from the implementation of the investment projects indicated in the SLS document. The procedure within the scope of the SEIA and the Forecast itself are aimed at eliminating, at the earliest possible stage, such development proposals, the implementation of which may lead to changes in the environment condition and affect the quality of human life and health.

PERIOD OF CONSULTATIONS:

We look forward to your comments and requests from 30 November to 31 December 2020.

The substantive support of the Polish Geological Institute – National Research Institute (PIG-PIB) will first and foremost concern the scope of engineering geology, hydrogeology and subsoil survey. The PIG–PIB performs the tasks of the state geological service and the state hydrogeological service in Poland.

The Agreement between CPK and PIG-PIB is an announcement of substantive cooperation which must translate into a quick progressof works at this important infrastructure project

MARCIN HORAŁA, THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFRASTRUCTURE, GOVERNMENT PLENIPOTENTIARY FOR THE CPK

The aim of the cooperation is to consult and select high-quality test methods, as well as to optimise the standard of site surveys to be performed by the contractors. CPK and PIG–PIB undertook to appoint a working team to implement the arrangements provided for in the agreement.

The PIG–PIB consultancy will be necessary already during the preparation stage of the assumptions for cooperation with the site survey advisor for the preparation of the CPK Airport Master Plan. The task of the site survey contractor will be to prepare, in cooperation with CPK, among others, the input to the geological and geophysical documentation, maps for design purposes, assessment of the technical condition of civil structures, archaeological surveys and unexploded ordnance survey.

The CPK is not only an airport, but an entire transport system that will revolutionise travelling in Poland. We are preparing an infrastructure project with a total value of capital expenditures exceeding PLN 100 billion. In order to ensure efficient implementation, extensive cooperation with experts in their fields is necessary, and such experts are provided by the PIG–PIB.

MIKOŁAJ WILD, THE PRESIDENT OF THE CPK COMPANY

We have over a century of experience, expertise and outstanding experts in engineering geology, hydrogeology and geohazards. We will effectively advise which geological factors should be taken into account in the process of planning, preparing and implementing the investment and will help to interpret the geological data obtained during the works.

DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE, MATEUSZ DAMRAT, PHD, ENG., WHO SIGNED THE COOPERATION AGREEMENT WITH CPK ON BEHALF OF PIG–PIB

The Agreement shall be valid throughout the period of the CPK investment. According to the programmes presented by the CPK company in June this year, the launch of the first stage of the airport (two runways with the necessary infrastructure, which will enable to handle up to 45 million passengers per year) is expected asat the end of 2027. The CPK railway investments were planned for the years 2020-2034, with a part of the sections to be ready upon launching the airport operation.

It is yet another cooperation agreement signed by the CPK company with the state-owned entities. In March 2020, the CPK and the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA) concluded an agreement concerning the coordination of the investment, including e.g. extension of the A2 motorway at the Warsaw-Łódź section and construction of the Warsaw Metropolitan Area Ring Road. CPK also cooperates, among others, with the Instituteof Meteorology and Water Management (IMGW), obtaining from it the data necessary for planning the airport.

The CPK company is currently conducting a competitive dialogue with the SeoulIncheon and TokyoNarita airports, which will result in the selection of a strategic adviser this year. In the airport part of the project, there is being conducted, among others, a procedure aimed at selecting a technical consultant for the Master Plan (a study specifying, among others, the detailed parameters of the airport, the investment area, dimensions and location of infrastructure elements, traffic forecasts, construction staging plan and the development concept of the land around the airport).

In the railway part of the project, the company, among others, completes the analysis of comments and opinions as part of the nationwide consultations on the railway and road Strategic Location Study (SLS). Preparations for nature inventories are in progress for the sections of railway lines which will be executed first and for which the first construction works are to start in 2023.

Participants in the consultations may submit their remarks in respect of three parts of the Strategic Location Study (SLS). The first part is the main study that includes such aspects as the basic details concerning the construction of new STH-related railway lines and roads planned in connection with the prospective airport. The second and third parts comprise the graphical part of the study, namely detailed topographic maps in a 1:50 000 scale depicting the routes of railway lines and roads.

We want local inhabitants to have a directinput into our projects, for example with regards to the way in which we will design the prospective STH railway lines. That’s why every comment we receive will be examined in detail by our experts, enabling us to find out which of the proposed changes are valid and can be implemented

said Marcin Horała, the government’s representative for the STH project.

Filling out an online form on the website at konsultacje.cpk.pl is the easiest way of submitting comments on the project, but interested parties can also participate in the consultations by sending their comments by regular mail or handing them in personally in the company’s offices.

The SLS was created as part of the STH company’s preparations for the design and construction of over 1600 kilometres of new railway lines, forming part of 12 railway routes, of which 10 primary ones constitute so-called spokes connecting each region of the country with the STH and with each other, thus eliminating transport-related social exclusion in various areas of Poland.

The document details railway corridors which will form the basis of further study and design work done by STH. Each corridor features variants of routes of each new STH-related line.

The final route of each line will be decided based on the results of social consultations that began today. We have consistently asked the local community for their opinions on the project, as evidenced by the Regional Strategic Consultations that were concluded in the previous year, during which we discussed the new railway lines with members of local governments in each of the 16 provinces of Poland

added Mikołaj Wild, CEO of STH

The STH company presented the SLS project at the Railway Development Congress held on 29 January, with the Polish prime minister in attendance. ‘STH is the core element of our Plan for Sustainable Development and the priority project of our government. I am certain that STH will act as a driving force of the entire Polish economy,’ said Mateusz Morawiecki. Additional footage is available in the video concerning the STH Railway Programme: click

Piotr Malepszak, member of the board of STH responsible for the railway part of the project, the prospective STH-related projects will include a new hub airport servicing Poland and the entire Central and Eastern Europe, as well as a network of new railway lines (including sections meeting the High-Speed Rail standard) that will enable reaching the STH from most of Poland’s major cities within no more than 2.5 hours

The STH Railway Programme will enable passengers to considerably cut down on their travel times. Reaching the new Solidarity Airport from the capital will take 15 minutes, while passengers travelling from Łódź will arrive at the airport in under 30 minutes. Trains from Wrocław and Poznań will reach Warsaw in under2 hours, whereas travelling between Kraków and Katowice will take as little as 35 minutes. Towns such as Jastrzębie-Zdrój and Łomża, which currently cannot be reached by train in any way, will be connected to the railway network.

Each of the 10 ‘spokes’ leading to STH will comprise newly-constructed sections of tracks and renovated or modernised parts of existing infrastructure. The Solidarity Transport Hub company will be responsible for the construction of new sections, whereas PKP Polish Railways will be responsible for the modernization of existing infrastructure.