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Joint railway investments for the Three Seas Region. CPK Railway Direction Days

Almost 4,500 km in High Speed Railway lines are planned for the Three Seas Region. The first sections, including the Warsaw – Łódź route, should be launched as early as 2028. During Railway Direction Days in Warsaw, a cooperation agreement was signed by representatives of Centralny Port Komunikacyjny, Rail Baltica and Správa železnic.

According to the investor schedules, by 2028, the time of the planned launch of the first stage of the CPK airport, the first section of the Warsaw – Łódź HSR being planned today by CPK should already be operational, as well as the completion of modernisation of the Rail Baltica route by PKP PLK from the Lithuanian border via Białystok to Warsaw.

According to the plan by 2030 the whole Rail Baltica cross-border corridor should be completed in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania: from Tallinn via Riga and Kaunas (with a connection to Vilnius) to the Polish border. The first sections of Rail Baltica railway lines are planned to be launched starting 2027. The assumption is that a section of the V4 HSR line between Prague, Brno, Bratislava and Budapest will also be built at this time. In the following years, next sections from Poland will be connected to the V4 railway line: Katowice-Ostrava and so-called Małopolska-Silesian Node.

The Three Seas Region is one of the fastest growing areas in Europe. Over the past 20 years, the region’s GDP has grown almost twice as fast as the ‘original EU‘, These rail projects are tailored to the needs of individual countries and the Three Seas region as a whole. The new HSR network, which is the CPK railway investment, together with other projects in the region such as Rail Baltica and V4, will form the future railway backbone of the Three Seas Region and an important part of European TEN-T transport network

says the Deputy Minister for Funds and Regional Policy, Marcin Horała, the government’s plenipotentiary for CPK.

Thanks to joint investments, there will be, for example, a Tallinn – Warsaw – Katowice Budapest connection (1,700 km) as well as Tallinn Warsaw – Wrocław – Prague (1,500 km, including 400 km along CPK’s  “spoke” no. 9).

At the RDD 2023 conference, the CPK, Rail Baltica global project coordinator RB Rail AS and Správa železnic covering the three most advanced projects in the region signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provides for mutual cooperation between the projects.

This is the unique, one-of-a-kind time in our common history when, functioning together in the region, we can create an unrivaled rail transportation offering. We are drawing lessons from HSR investments in the West. As a result, our projects can bring about an economic domino effect, giving a boost to other industries and sectors

says Mikołaj Wild, CEO of CPK.

Considering the scale and impact of the Rail Baltica Global project not only in the Baltic states, but also the whole Europe, we must recognize benefits and use the full potential from strengthening cooperation with other megaprojects. We have already made significant progress by establishing regular cooperation formats with Centralny Port Komunikacyjny, and will be honoured to now extend the cooperation also with the national railway infrastructure manager in the Czech Republic

says Agnis Driksna, CEO of RB Rail AS.

The cooperation between railway infrastructure managers in the region is viewed by Správa železnic as a cornerstone for future rapid development in the 3Seas area. Faster travel between hubs, better service quality to passengers, improved safety as well as alleviating capacity on conventional rail for freight seem to be the major benefits that will boost economic growth and multi-lateral relationships across the region. Given the long term nature of these projects we understand we must not miss this crucial momentum to invest now in the future, as the positive benefits will be enormous not only for our countries but also for the whole of Europe

emphasises Radek Čech, Director International Affairs Dept. of Správa železnic.

The project delivery organisations have the support of international allies, who point out that the planned infrastructure will be dual-use, that is civil-military.

Current events have shown that reliable and resilient rail infrastructure is so incredibly important for the safety and security of the region.  An investment in this infrastructure is an investment into the long-term security of the region.  It is just as important as our collaboration on national security, energy security, and defense

says Mark Brzezinski, US Ambassador to Poland.

Rail Baltica and the CPK railway projects are important to integrate the region more closely into the EU’s transport network and achieve environmental benefits by shifting traffic to rail

added Catherine Trautmann, The European Coordinator for the NSB Corridor.

The planned HSR system in the Three Seas Region area will be cost-effective, as confirmed by a report presented at Railway Direction Days by Steer, an international consultancy which performs analyses for the European Commission.

The estimated total cost of the entire HSR network in the Three Seas Region is around €60 billion. The authors of the report estimated that the total value of the benefits in the HSR network for the Three Seas Region countries would be more than €120 billion. This means that, in the long term, the new high-speed railway network will generate twice the value than its initial cost. According to Steer’s calculations, €55 billion represent passenger journey time savings and €57 billion are the other benefits of the project, including, among others, those resulting from a decrease in transportation accidents.

The good news for passengers is that there will be significant shortening of travel times, such as on the Łódź – Wrocław section, where the journey will be shortened from 3 hours to about 1 hour. From Warsaw: travelling to Vilnius will take 4 hours (currently 9 hours), to Riga 5 hours (today there is no such direct connection by train, and the travel time by bus takes more than 8 hours), to Ostrava less than 2 hours (currently 4.5 hours) and to Budapest 5.5 hours (currently 11.5 hours).

It will take approximately two hours to get from Prague to Vienna and Bratislava, currently close to 4.5 hours, while the journey to Budapest from the Czech capital will be reduced to 3.5 hours (from the current 7 hours). From Vilnius passengers will reach Tallinn in approximately 3.5 hours (currently it takes more than 8 hours), and Riga will be reached in in less than 2 hours (from the current over 4 hours).

According to Steer’s calculations, the most busiest sections will be: Warsaw – Łódź in Poland, Brno – Jihlavain the Czech Republic and Budapest – Gyor in Hungary. Each will carry between 14 and 18 million passengers a year.

Planning and design work is well advanced. For example in Poland feasibility studies are already being developed for 1500 km of the 2000 km planned CPK so called spokes, including a 140 km section of the HSR between Warsaw and Łódź (the preparatory construction work should start in the second half of this year) and a 200 km section between Łódź and Wrocław.

In the Baltics more than 640 out of 870 km total corridor is under design and large-scale constructions are approaching. E.g. in  Latvia, a tender for construction works for a 200 km section of the Rail Baltica railway line is underway, as well as RB Rail AS has launched an electrification subsystem design and build tender for the electrification of entire 870 km Rail Baltica network. Meanwhile the Czech Republic is preparing design documentation for, among other things, the section between Ostrava and Przerov.

Ultimately, the HSR rail system will be able to cover all the Three Seas Region countries and be ready for further development within Ukraine (extension of CPK ‘spoke’ no. 5 to Lviv and ultimately to Kiev). The development of the Poland-Ukraine HSR connection is part of the reconstruction plan for this country and the concept of extending the TEN-T corridors beyond Poland’s eastern border.

 

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In the case of the airport, we have moved from the planning phase to the design phase. The application for an environmental decision concerning the airport, including the railway, roads and associated infrastructure, is pending.

A Voluntary Acquisition Programme (PDN) is also underway at the future development site. More than 650 owners and holders of properties have applied for the programme with a total area of more than 1,500 hectares. The Programme was set up to acquire as many plots as possible through voluntary transactions.

For the long-distance tunnel in Łódź, the most advanced CPK investment, we already have building plans and specifications, a set of location decisions, one of three planning permissions while the first tender is underway, which means that construction works start next year.

Feasibility studies (STEŚ) are already being developed for 1,500 km of the 2,000 km planned ‘spokes’. We already have investment variants for the 140-kilometre section of the High-Speed Railway between Warsaw and Łódź, the 200 km between Łódź and Wrocław and the 40 km between Stalowa Wola and Rzeszów.

A number of international partners have been involved in the CPK project this year, such as Incheon Airport from Seoul, i.e. the current Strategic Advisor, the design consortium Foster+Partners and Buro Happold as the Master Architect and the design company Dar Al-Handasah as the Master Civil Engineer.

Wstępna koncepcja projektowa CPK. Źródło: Foster + Partners

Here is the Top 10, a subjective overview of the most important CPK-related events of 2022:

1. Location of the CPK airport. Application for an environmental decision. Phased execution

The application for the environmental decision for the airport, including the railway junction, new roads and water, energy, gas infrastructure, etc., was submitted by CPK to the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Warsaw (RDOŚ) in October. The application, together with the environmental report, has more than 20,000 pages and is part of a larger procedural puzzle. It constitutes a supplement and continuation of the CPK investor variant that we presented in June of this year, as well as the preferred location for the airport, which we announced last December.

As part of our carefully planned activities over the past year, we consulted with local authorities on the Master Plan, which sets out the airport’s development plan in the long-term perspective (by 2060). The plan is based on traffic forecasts prepared by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Based on IATA baseline scenario, we assume that between 2028 (the planned year for the airport launch) and 2035, on an area of approximately 2,150 ha, the new airport will have two parallel runways and a terminal designed to handle 40 million passengers a year.

Thereafter, the airport will be expanded – depending on the market situation and forecasts, which will be updated on an ongoing basis. For 2060, we assume, based on the baseline scenario, that the airport will have an infrastructure capable of handling 65 million passengers per year. At that point, the airport will already have three runways and an assumed area of 3,900 ha.

The next step after obtaining the environmental decision, which is the responsibility of the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection, will be to apply to the voivode for a location decision. We hope to obtain the approvals and administrative decisions by the end of 2023 to enable the commencement of the first construction preparatory works.

2. Master Architect and its team. The big design four

The planning phase for the airport has ended and the design phase has begun. For the airport part alone, a staggering number of around 60,000 design drawings will be created and incorporated into the digital design environment. There will be four contractors for the large design packages for the new airport. The multi-disciplinary design documentation must be – as the investor’s requirement – compiled into one coherent project.

Last month, we signed a contract with the British consortium Foster + Partners and Buro Happold, the designer of the passenger terminal and railway station (Master Architect). The contractor we have chosen has experience in designing transfer airports in various parts of the world, including Hong Kong, Doha and Beijing.

A month earlier, we concluded another important contract: with a Master Civil Engineer (MCE). This entity is responsible at CPK for the design of the runways, taxiways and aprons. The contractor, a Lebanese conglomerate, Dar Al-Handasah, has been involved in the design of airports in Doha, Dubai and Chicago.

In December, we selected 13 companies and consortia, including Polish ones, with which we are going to sign a framework agreement as part of the first tender for the design of the support facilities (Support Infrastructure Engineer – SIE). This includes such facilities as the air traffic control tower which, in addition to the passenger terminal, could become the airport’s most characteristic building (similarly to the new Istanbul airport). The contract also covers the design of the airport operations centre, the fire and rescue, maintenance and airport management buildings and the airport service office.

The bids received under the second part of the tender for the design of the support facilities – the SIE2 – at the airport (including hotels, offices, multi-storey car parks, retail facilities and cargo terminals), which was announced in October, are still being analysed. The winning tender is planned to be announced in January. We have also signed a contract with IDOM as Airport Systems Integration Designer (ASID), which constitutes the airport’s ‘nervous system’. The tasks of this contractor include the design, implementation and integration of specialised airport systems that automate airport operations and offer digital tools to improve the passenger experience.

Wstępna koncepcja projektowa CPK. Źródło: Foster + Partners

3. Warsaw-Łódź HSR. Project option and application for an environmental decision

This will be the railway backbone for CPK. CPK has signed contracts for the design of the Warsaw – Łódź line, which is the first section of the High Speed Railway (HSR) in Poland. Between Warsaw and Łódź, the first and fourth most populated cities in Poland, we plan to build a total of 140 km in tracks where trains will be able to reach 250 km/h (the design speed is 350 km/h).

Thanks to this investment, the travel time between Warsaw and Łódź will be reduced to around 45 minutes (today it takes about an hour and a half). Travellers will reach the CPK airport from Warsaw in around 15 minutes and from Łódź in around half an hour. Once the entire “Y” shaped line has been built, the train journey from Wrocław to Warsaw will take 1 hour 45 minutes (i.e. half the time today), and from Poznań to Warsaw less than 2 hours (down from the current 3 hours).

The contractors were selected under the largest framework contract for this type of service in Europe. This contract for the design of 10 ‘spokes’ may reach a maximum gross value of PLN 8.6 billion over eight years.

4. HSR tunnel with a complete set of location decisions

Work on the 4km High Speed Rail tunnel in Łódź is the most advanced of all CPK investments. The company received planning permission for works to reinforce the foundations of the Łódź House of Culture (ŁDK) – west of the Łódź Fabryczna station). This will be the location of the excavated chamber for the tunnel boring machine TBM. For this task, CPK has already announced a tender for a contractor. Further planning permissions are a matter for the coming weeks.

In December, the company obtained the last of three location decisions for the HSR tunnel. It is now waiting for a response to the planning permission applications for the Retkinia chamber, the Fabryczna chamber and for the tunnel.

The tunnel is a key element of the ‘Y’ shaped line, the HSR route under preparation between Warsaw, CPK, Łódź, Wrocław and Poznań. It is also an investment which, together with the construction of the suburban tunnel currently being carried out by PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe in Łódź, will allow for much better travel and the use of the Łódź Fabryczna station.

In order to speed up pre-construction procedures, we used some of the pre-design documentation that had been produced before preparations for the construction of the ‘Y’ shaped line were unnecessarily halted in 2011.

5. Investor options for the three sections. Feasibility studies already for 1,500 km, i.e. 3/4 of the CPK pool

CPK already has an investor variant and an application for an environmental decision for the 140-kilometre-long Warsaw-Łódź section of the High-Speed Railway (in this case we are already at the stage of submitting applications for an environmental decision). The investor’s preferred route for the 200 km from Łódź to Wrocław is also ready. Since December, there has also been an investor variant for the 40-kilometre section Łętownia – Rzeszów.

Technical, economic, environmental studies (STEŚ) are already being developed for 1,500 km of the 2,000 km of the CPK planned railway ‘spokes’. Work on feasibility studies is carried out at a pace unprecedented for infrastructure investments in Poland. For example, the comparison of variants, consultations with residents and local authorities, multi-criteria analysis and selection of variants for the sections between Warsaw and Łódź and between Łódź and Wrocław took less than a year from when the agreements were concluded.

Thanks to the CPK railway investments, travel times from most regions of Poland to Warsaw and the planned airport will be significantly reduced. New international connections with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary ( “spoke” no. 7 Katowice-Ostrava, which is part of the V4 line) and the Ukraine (extension of “spoke” no. 5 to Lviv) are planned. CPK also works closely with Rail Baltica, which is preparing the construction of a HSR line connecting Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia with Poland, specifically with section no. 3 of the ‘spoke’ managed by PKP PLK.

6. Dual-purpose infrastructure. CPK embedded in NATO plans

In March, Gen. Ben Hodges, the former Commander General of US Army Europe, told PAP that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine shows how much investment such as CPK is needed to improve the quality of rapid response infrastructure on NATO’s Eastern Flank. These words were confirmed by other military officials, including the former Chief of the Aeromobile Forces, Brigadier General Dariusz Wroński, who told Rzeczpospolita that from the point of view of the country’s defence, CPK is an investment needed ‘yesterday’.

The lesson from the Russian aggression in Ukraine is that Poland needs a high-capacity airport, capable of 24/7 operations, suitable for cargo, connected to the railway and road network. This is why CPK is planned as a dual-use infrastructure, i.e. as a civil airport that can be used by NATO support and rapid response forces in the event of a threat of armed conflict. This is also why the CPK Master Plan presented in September assumes that military infrastructure is envisaged in the northern part of CPK. Its planning and development is the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence in cooperation with CPK.

7. Large-scale framework contracts (feasibility studies, design, construction works)

In the past year, CPK has made extensive use of the framework agreement mechanism, which has shortened and increased the efficiency of the contractor selection process. This procedure reduces the likelihood of protests and appeals by first selecting contractors based on their experience and, only then, in the second stage of the tendering procedure, based on price and delivery time.

Under this formula, CPK concludes contracts for extended feasibility studies (STEŚ-R), design work and construction works. For example – the 8-year framework agreement signed by CPK with design companies for railway investments is valued at over PLN 8.6 billion gross. It is currently the largest framework contract for design work in Europe.

8. CPK plus Chopin Airport. Capital group with PPL

CPK is a company preparing the construction of a new hub airport and 2,000 km of railway lines. PPL owns and manages Chopin Airport in Warsaw and holds shares in most Polish regional airports. This year the consolidation process between CPK and PPL has started, which will have a significant impact on the aviation market in Poland.

In the past year, the government’s plenipotentiary for CPK, Marcin Horała, announced a detailed plan to transform PPL into a single-person commercial law company and then to contribute shares of the new PPL to the CPK SPV. As a result, a capital group will be created that is responsible for obtaining the financing for and coordinating the CPK investment tasks.

For the market and for investors, this confirms the decision to move 100% of civilian traffic from Chopin Airport to CPK. Consolidation will facilitate this process, spur the construction of new infrastructure and provide numerous benefits for both parties, including the benefit of shared knowledge and experience.

9. Real property for the needs of CPK. Already more than 650 owners and 1,500 ha

The Voluntary Acquisitions Programme, which involves a system of incentives and bonuses for residents (valuations of 120% of the market value of the land and 140% of the value of the house, organisation and covering the costs of the move, of legal costs, etc.) unheard of in other public purpose developments, gained great momentum in the second half of the year.

More than 650 property owners have so far signed up to the VAP. November saw the highest rate of applications since the programme began two years ago. The stage of performing appraisal reports, submitting offers, negotiations, signing memoranda of understanding and ultimately concluding contracts already covers an area of almost 1,500 hectares. If we take into account only properties submitted to VAP from the area of the planned airport site announced in June, a third of the site is already in the process of bidding and acquiring the land by CPK.

VAP is preceded by a compulsory expropriation phase for compensation, which starts once the location decision has been issued.

10. Cooperation with the investment environment and universities. Strategy for the region

As part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), CPK has this year co-financed purchases and projects that are important to the municipalities and residents in the investment area, such as the purchase of three firefighting and rescue vehicles for the General Corps of Volunteer Firefighters of the municipalities of Baranów, Teresin and Wiskitki, new equipment for rescue operations for WOPR (Volunteer Water Rescue Service) in Grodzisk Mazowiecki and the construction of a helipad for the Western Hospital in Grodzisk Mazowiecki, which will be built next year.

Why does CPK carry out such activities? Being a socially responsible company means investing in human resources, in protecting the environment, in relationships with the environment. All these activities are part of the Strategy for the Development of the Area Surrounding CPK until 2040, which was prepared in close cooperation with local authorities from the investment environment.

In the past year, CPK has also collaborated with technical universities and scientific institutions. We have signed partnership agreements with: Warsaw University of Technology, Gdansk University of Technology, Lodz University of Technology, Łukasiewicz Research Network , AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow and Lazarski University. The aim of these activities is to exchange knowledge and experience, carry out joint scientific and research projects and recruit staff for the largest infrastructure project in our part of Europe.

High-speed rail development has been placed at the centre of EU transport policy by the European Commission. Taking advantage of this impulse, the EU countries of the Three Seas Initiative have been developing their railway networks by constructing the first sections of the High Speed Rail system. Projects such as Centralny Port Komunikacyjny (CPK) in Poland, together with Rail Baltica and V4 HSR, make an important contribution to the EU’s Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) policy and the goals of the Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy, making Europe much better connected, integrated and secure.

These are the topics of the first edition of the Railway Direction Days congress, which is to be held in Warsaw on 18-19 January 2023. The congress is planned to contain two days of debates and discussions on the benefits of transforming the transport infrastructure in the Three Seas region. A particular aspect of the scheduled talks is the impact of the expansion and modernisation of the railway network in the region on the economies of Central and Eastern European countries, the decarbonisation of transport systems as well as increasing the resilience and defence capabilities of European countries.

 

The infrastructure mega-projects, which are being implemented in the Three Seas countries, will create a dense and interoperable HSR network in the region, filling in the missing cross-border links in Central and Eastern Europe and building the future of European mobility. The first Railway Direction Days congress provides a unique opportunity to thoroughly discuss, plan and coordinate transport infrastructure modernisation projects implemented by several countries,

said Marcin Horała, Government Plenipotentiary for CPK.

The RDD 2023 congress will bring together almost 40 panellists – transport industry experts from more than a dozen countries, including Agnis Driksna, CEO of RB Rail, which is responsible for the implementation of the Rail Baltica project, Radek Čech, Director of International Cooperation and the EU Department at Správa železnic, Monika Heiming, Executive Director of European Rail Infrastructure Managers or Mark Sadler, Manager of the Climate Funds Management unit at the World Bank. During the 2 days of the congress, 9 panels on infrastructure and transport topics will be held, including, ‘Development of the HSR network as a boost to economic development of the 3Seas Initiative countries’, ‘The importance of railway projects in the 3Seas region for strengthening security and resilience of the EU and its neighbors’ or ‘Scope and investment process of HSR’ and ‘Passenger perspective of HSR’. A detailed programme and list of all the panellists is available at www.railwaydirectiondays.com.

The conference will feature a presentation of the report ‘HSR in 3Seas’ developed by the Steer consultancy, which provides an overview of High Speed Rail infrastructure projects in the Three Seas Region in the perspective of 2030. The publication covers the network perspective and the economic and environmental aspects of HSR development in the region. The security and resilience benefits of creating a dense and interoperable HSR network in the region will also be considered.

Centralny Port Komunikacyjny (CPK) is a new transport development program in Poland – a strategic investment that is extremely important for the economic development of the country and the region and, of utmost importance, the security of Europe as a whole. It’s a great infrastructure project on an incredible scale to integrate air, rail, and road transportation quickly and efficiently. The CPK project includes, among others, rail investments: a transport hub at the airport in the centre of Poland and a network of new railway lines, mainly high speed, with a total length of nearly 2,000 km. This will make it possible to travel between Warsaw and Poland’s largest cities in no more than 2.5 hours. The first preparatory construction work on new CPK airport is planned to begin in 2023.

The design of the 140-kilometre railway line has been divided into three tasks. The first task concerns the section from the capital city of Warsaw to line 11, i.e. the area behind the planned CPK transport hub (developed as part of a separate project). The second task covers a next section of the line up to the city of Łódź, while the third one aims to develop GSM-R radio communication network along the entire section.

The first task will be carried out by the consortium Biuro Projektów “Metroprojekt” together with Sud Architekt Polska, which has also worked with CPK on the design of the high-speed railway tunnel in Łódź. The consortium of Egis Poland, Egis Rail and Jaf-Geotechnika will be responsible for the second part of the investment. Finally, Biuro Projektów Komunikacyjnych in Poznań together with Biuro Projektów Kolejowych i Usług Inwestycyjnych and FONON will be responsible for the design of the GSM-R network. The total value of all tasks is over PLN 300 million net.

“We are entering the next phase of work. The scope includes preparation of pre-design and design documentation, with technical support and obtaining administrative decisions, including construction plan, construction permit, water permits, location decision and opinions on property values. Contractors have 17 months to implement the work, and in the case of radio network design, 3 months from the signing of the contracts,”

says Maciej Jagielski from the CPK’s Railway Sub-Programme Implementation Office.
The new railway section between Warsaw and Łódź (without the CPK transport hub) is a part of railway line 85 and “spoke” no. 9. Together with a further section from Łódź to Wrocław and Poznań, the mentioned railway sections forms a ‘Y’ shaped line. In the first stage, trains will be able to reach speeds of up to 250 km/h (operational speed) with the target up to 350 km/h (design speed).

The investment will reduce the travel time between Warsaw and Łódź to around 45 minutes (today it’s around 90 minutes). Travellers will be able to reach the CPK airport from Warsaw in around 15 minutes and from Łódź in around 30 minutes. Once the entire “Y” is built, a trip from Poznań to Warsaw by train will take less than 2 hours (instead of the current approx. 3 hours), and from Wrocław – 1 hour 55 minutes (twice as short as today).

Preparatory construction work is scheduled to start at the end of 2023. One of the contractors’ tasks is to obtain the necessary permits. Substantial construction work on the Warsaw–Łódź section will start in 2024, once planning permission has been obtained

Centralny Port Komunikacyjny (CPK) is a new transport development program in Poland – a strategic investment that is extremely important for the economic development of the country and the region and, of utmost importance, the security of Europe as a whole. It’s a great infrastructure project on an incredible scale to integrate air, rail, and road transportation quickly and efficiently. The CPK project includes, among others, rail investments: a transport hub at the airport in the centre of Poland and a network of new railway lines, mainly high speed, with a total length of nearly 2,000 km. This will make it possible to travel between Warsaw and Poland’s largest cities in no more than 2.5 hours. The first preparatory construction work on new CPK airport is planned to begin in 2023.

The main tasks of the Master Architect for the CPK’s airport include designing the passenger terminal building, railway station and public transport interchange. Additionally, the consortium led by Foster + Partners will participate in CPK consultations with key stakeholders and potential general contractors.

CPK is one of the largest infrastructure investments in our part of Europe. Despite its huge scale, we are executing it in compliance with the schedule, reaching milestones one by one. Today we mark one of the most important – inauguration of the cooperation with the Master Architect, who will have the most spectacular influence on the shape of the new airport. I am confident that it will not only look great, but will provide the best passenger experience, putting them at the heart of the design

says Minister Marcin Horała, Government Plenipotentiary for CPK.

The value of the contract (including the tasks covered by the option right) is PLN696 million net (ca. EUR 150 mln). The concept design of key CPK buildings is expected to be ready as early as the middle of 2023, and all other design services will be provided within two and a half years from the contract conclusion date. Foster + Partners’ bid was selected from among the companies shortlisted for the competitive dialogue: the consortia Zaha Hadid Architects and WSP UK Limited; Dar Al-Handasah and Perkins&Will; Vidal y Asociados Estudio de Arquitectura, Weston Williams +Partners LLP, gmp International GmbH as well as Kohn Pedersen Fox.

We selected the contractor using the competitive dialogue tender procedure. It consisted among other things of the design exercise, thanks to which bidders could present their visions of the CPK project. The real challenge, however, starts now. Together with the world-famous architects we will prepare the ultimate design of the most important part of the new Polish transport system

says Mikołaj Wild, CEO of CPK company.

One of the main assumptions of the design is expandability and modular construction, enabling the airport to be built and operational by year 2028 and ready to serve up to 40 mln passengers and then expand seamlessly to meet 65 mln passenger target in 2060.

The first design ideas of Foster + Partners include a landside interchange plaza that is animated by lush greenery and flooded with natural light. People congregate in this vibrant space before travelling or welcoming visitors. The plaza connects the hub’s three main modes of transport: air, rail and road.

It acts as the focal point of the scheme and supports the shift towards more efficient and sustainable means of travel. The plaza will also be able to accommodate future emerging technologies. The final design will optimise passenger experience making the facilities accessible and inclusive. The functional and flexible layout, with minimal level changes will allow for efficient and seamless passenger flows and optimised transfers.

We are proud and excited to be chosen by CPK as the designers of this project. In collaboration, we will work together to create a model for the future of totally integrated transportation design. We believe that this project will completely revolutionise travel across the country and beyond. The vision of woven architectural form is deliberately and strongly expressed. It could shape the building and guide the passengers through its spaces, while also serving as a powerful symbolic reference to Poland’s rich cultural heritage and the united strength of its people

says Grant Brooker, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners.

The design will need to respond to the challenges of time, cost and quality. Opportunities for modularisation and prefabrication are to be maximised, allowing the transport hub to adapt to ever-evolving operational needs. This creates a resilient and future-proof scheme that will stand the test of time.

Foster + Partners is a global studio for architecture, urbanism and design, rooted in sustainability, which was founded over fifty years ago in 1967 by Norman Foster. Since then, he and the team around him have established an international practice with a worldwide reputation for thoughtful and pioneering design, working as a single studio that is both ethnically and culturally diverse. The studio integrates the skills of architecture with engineering, both structural and environmental, urbanism, interior and industrial design, model and film making, aeronautics and many more – collegiate working environment of the studio is similar to a compact university. These diverse skills make Foster + Partners capable of tackling a wide range of projects, particularly those of considerable complexity and scale.

Centralny Port Komunikacyjny (CPK) is a new transport development program in Poland – a strategic investment that is extremely important for the economic development of the country and the region and, of utmost importance, the security of Europe as a whole. It’s a great infrastructure project on an incredible scale to integrate air, rail, and road transportation quickly and efficiently. The CPK project includes, among others, rail investments: a transport hub at the airport in the centre of Poland and a network of new railway lines, mainly high speed, with a total length of nearly 2,000 km. This will make it possible to travel between Warsaw and Poland’s largest cities in no more than 2.5 hours. The first preparatory construction work on new CPK airport is planned to begin in 2023.

The strategic tasks of Dar Al-Handasah will be the development of multi-discipline design plans and specifications for the technical infrastructure of the CPK, including runways and taxi ways, aprons, utilities, and service lines, as well as civil structures. Dar will also be tasked with securing the essential construction permits on behalf of CPK, on-site services (under the right of option), and consulting at every stage of the project.

We are very happy to have completed such a critical tender on time. The Master Civil Engineer is one of the ‘Big Four’ developers for the airport project. The satisfaction is even greater that the winning bidder is such a well-known, renowned, experienced, and globally recognized company as Dar, with a track record of projects in Europe, the USA, the Middle East, Africa, and India,” says Mikołaj Wild, CEO of CPK company

says Mikołaj Wild, CEO of CPK company.

With its global experience, strong portfolio and extensive competencies, Dar will bring advanced know-how in sustainable planning and net zero design capabilities to this project. Dar will also share with CPK its experience and expertise in the application of highly durable and safe airport facilities and technologies which meet both the current and future demands as well as the expectations of the market.

Dar is privileged to have been selected as the Master Civil Engineer on a  Project  as ambitious and visionary as the CPK, and we look forward to working with CPK  and the 3 other designers to support deliver its strategic vision, through a highly sustainable, future-fit transport hub that meets the aspirations of its communities, both now and for years to come

says Danny Aoun, regional director of operations at Dar.

Dar is an internationally recognized design consultant with experience in planning and designing airports with technical infrastructure, bringing world-class engineering expertise in airport design with comprehensive consulting in architecture, infrastructure, processing, and sustainability.

Dar is the founding member of the Dar Group, a holding which has delivered projects that include such airports as the smart Dubai International airport, one of the world’s busiest airports and the Hamad International Airport in Qatar, recognised as the best airport in the world in the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2021 and 2022. Dar group has also supported the development of O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, LaGuardia Airport in New York, San Francisco International Airport and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport in China.

So far, as part of the airport component, the CPK company has announced four key tenders for the design works and design-related services: the Master Architect (MA), in which the offer of Foster + Partners and Buro Happold has been selected; the Master Civil Engineer (MCE), the Airport System Infrastructure Designer (ASID), and the Support Infrastructure Engineer (SIE). The first preparatory construction work on the CPK is planned to begin in 2023.

The purpose of DRF is continuous assurance of the technical correctness and completeness of the design documentation, obtained from the Master Architect, the Master Civil Engineer and the Support Infrastructure Engineer.

Centralny Port Komunikacyjny is one of the largest infrastructural projects in Central and Eastern Europe and, at the same time, an EU infrastructure investment priority for the coming years. Therefore, we hope that the tendering procedure will involve the most experienced and competent contractors worldwide, because only entities with proper knowledge and experience, specialized in the design and technical review of design documentation in the airport industry can ensure meeting the most demanding design quality requirements

said Michał Ćwik, director of Airport Subprogramme Design & Engineering Department in the CPK company.

Collaboration with an entity qualified in the monitoring of the design documentation preparation process, as well as proper review, will enable effective collaboration of all CPK designers and other partners. This process will affect the detection of potential design errors or inter-sectoral collisions at an early stage. This will benefit in proper and effective completion of the planned construction works in line with the assumed schedule.

The procedure is conducted as an open tender. The Company hopes for the participation of engineering companies from across the world. The documentation of the procedure is available on the SmartPZP platform.

Until now, as part of the airport component, the company has announced 4 key tenders for the design works and design-related services: the Master Architect (MA), the Airport System Infrastructure Designer (ASID), the Master Civil Engineer (MCE) and the Support Infrastructure Engineer (SIE).

Centralny Port Komunikacyjny is a new transport development program in Poland – a strategic investment that is extremely important for the economic development of the country and the region and, of utmost importance, the security of Europe as a whole. It’s a huge infrastructure project on an incredible scale to integrate air, rail and road transportation quickly and efficiently. Centralny Port Komunikacyjny includes, among others, rail investments: a transport hub at the airport in the center of Poland and a network of new railway lines, mainly high-speed, with a total length of nearly 2,000 km. This will make it possible to travel between Warsaw and Poland’s largest cities in no more than 2.5 hours. According to the latest IATA air traffic forecasts, by 2060 Centralny Port Komunikacyjny will attract around 850 million passengers and over 35 million tons of air cargo to Poland, benefiting the country and the region.

Under the chairmanship of Prime Ministers Mateusz Morawiecki and Pedro Sánchez, the 14th Polish-Spanish intergovernmental consultations took place on Wednesday, with the participation of the Government Plenipotentiary for Centralny Port Komunikacyjny, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy, Marcin Horała. Within the framework of the transport sub-table, Deputy Minister Horała discussed in detail with the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda of the Kingdom of Spain, Ms. Raquel Sánchez Jiménez, the results of the fruitful Polish-Spanish cooperation to date on Centralny Port Komunikacyjny and prospects for the future. Both parties agreed that there is very high potential for deepening cooperation not only in the high-speed rail sector, but also in the airport component of the Centralny Port Komunikacyjny.

The best proof of the sense and added value of cooperation with Spanish partners is the fact that on the day of the 14th edition of the Polish-Spanish intergovernmental consultations, Centralny Port Komunikacyjny and the recognised Spanish engineering company INECO signed a commercial agreement for a peer review of the high-speed rail technical standards prepared by CPK in cooperation with the Railway Research Institute. The foundation through which this agreement was made possible was the Memorandum of Cooperation between Poland and Spain, which I had the pleasure of signing with the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda during the previous Polish-Spanish intergovernmental consultations on 31 May 2021

explained the Government Plenipotentiary for the CPK.

The agreement for a peer review of the HSR technical standards was signed by the President of Centralny Port Komunikacyjny, Mikołaj Wilda, and the CEO of INECO, Sergio Vázquez Torrón. Company has to establish commercial cooperation with external entities with experience in the construction and operation of HSR systems in Europe with the aim of reviewing the Polish HSR Technical Standards developed by the Railway Research Institute and the Company.

The importance of Polish-Spanish cooperation to date on the Centralny Port Komunikacyjny, including in particular on the CPK-INECO level, was underscored by the signing of a Joint Declaration between the Plenipotentiary for the Centralny Port Komunikacyjny, Marcin Horała, and the Minister for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda of the Kingdom of Spain, Raquel Sánchez Jiménez. This is a continuation of the cooperation started last year, with the signing of the MoU, during consultations in Madrid.

The memorandum of understanding was signed today at a remote conference between Marcin Horała, the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and the Government Plenipotentiary for the CPK, and Byeon Chang-heum, South Korean Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

Poland and South Korea declared cooperation not only as part of knowledgetransfer during the planning and designing of the Centralny Port Komunikacyjny, but also at the intergovernmental: investment and economic level. The signed document is also an important step towards a strategic partnership with South Korea in the construction of the CPK.

Today marks a breakthrough moment for Centralny Port Komunikacyjny. Inauguration of cooperation with Korean Incheon Airport brings the CPK preparation into brand new stage of implementation. Since today, one of the biggest investment in Polish history, will be realized in cooperation with the extraordinary partner. Polish-Korean partnership creates new and promising fields of possibilities. The cooperation we inaugurate today is a combination of knowledge and ambition, experience and potential. This also a huge step towards so expected economic recovery. Today we commence a brand new chapter in the history of Poland’s modernization

said Mateusz Morawiecki, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland.

At the same time the contract was signed by Mikołaj Wild, the President of the CPK Company, and Kim Kyung-wook, the new President & CEO of IIAC, managing the Incheon Airport. Under the agreement, the Asian hub acts as a strategic consultant to provide the CPK with the knowledge and experience necessary to plan and design the new airport. South Korean experts are already working on the premises of the CPK Company within an integrated team (consisting of the employees of the CPK Company and external consultants).

The first element of the cooperation is the opening report prepared by the representatives of the Incheon Airport. It provides a detailed description of the key experience gained by the Incheon Airport over a 20-year period as a reference for the implementation of the CPK master plan. These experiences address issues such as port operational management, airport-rail integration, milestones, Airport City development, innovationapproach and risk management. Incheon proposals will be further developed in close cooperation with the CPK.

Today’s event is a breakthrough for the CPK project, and positive information for the entire Polish economy. We have inaugurated cooperation not only between airports, but also at the intergovernmental level. Although these are activities at a high diplomatic and administrative level, we will guide them so that their benefits are felt by every Polish citizen

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

I hope today’s MoU would lead exchanges and cooperation of two countries to be improved in various sectors, especially the substantial cooperation in public infrastructure in general, including airports, roads, railways and urban planning

said Byeon Chang-heum, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The contract was concluded for three years, which means that it covers the period of planning, designing and purchase of land. The cost of this cooperation is EUR3.5 million net.

I am glad that we have representatives of the Incheon Airport on board. This is one of the main hub ports in Asia and one of the world’s best organized airports. This is an absolutely key consultant for the CPK, a specific “second pair of eyes”, which will support the most important planning decisions and assist in the preparation and acceptance of specialized project definition documentation

explains Mikołaj Wild, the President of the CPK.

It is a great honor to be a strategic advisor of the CPK Project of enormous symbolic importance to Polish economy and aviation industry. We will do our best to successfully execute our role in this project with all of our expertise and know-how to be a strategic partner in the future

said Kim Kyung-wook, the President & CEO of Incheon International Airport Corporation.

Incheon is the main international airport of South Korea. It takes the 4th place in the world in the current Skytrax ranking, a prestigious list of the world's best hub airports. The airport was opened in 2001. The construction decision was taken after the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988 due to the insufficient capacity of the Gimpo Airport.

The Incheon Airport was built in stages. During the first stage, two parallel runways (3,750 m in length each) were built and the airport had a capacity of 30 million passengers and 1.7 million tonnes of goods per year. As a result of the dynamic development of the market, the government of South Korea has implemented further development stages. In 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, Incheon handled more than 71 million passengers and 2.7 million tonnes of goods.

According to the assumptions made so far, as part of the first phase, the Centralny Port Komuinikacyjny will be provided with two runways with a length of 4,000 m each and the possibility of handling up to 45 million passengers (this value will be confirmed in the course of preparations for the master plan of the airport). The capacity of the CPK can be increased by further investments under which the land reserve will be secured.

Incheon is located on Yeongjong island, 52 km from the center of Seoul. The CPK will be built 37 km from the center of Warsaw. In the case of Incheon, the railway station is located next to the main terminal building and provides convenient access to the center of Seoul. Passengers can use express trains that stop only in Incheon Airport and Seoul (such a trip takes approx. 40 minutes). The CPK will have a railway station integrated with the airport. The planned travel time by train with parking at the CPK and in the center of Warsaw is approx. 15 minutes.

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.