Tram refurbishment brings transport and tourist benefits to Szczecin, Poland

The extensive redevelopment of parts of the tram network in the Polish city of Szczecin – made possible thanks to the EU funding – will bring long term benefits to citizens and commuters living and working in the area. The project has successfully strengthened transport links within the city, and adapted lines to accommodate new low-floor trams that provide greater comfort and access to disabled passengers and those with reduced mobility.

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This ambitious project involved the redevelopment of sections of tram track in the west of the city, including the upgrading and extension of overhead contact lines and light signalling boxes. This work was carried out in order to adapt infrastructure to the requirements of new rolling low-floor tram cars. 

In total, just over 9.3 km of track has been completely redeveloped, while an additional 0.617 km of tram and trolleybus track was added. This will enable the city’s tram network to carry an additional 366 414 passengers every year. 

Increased tram capacity 

The key aim of this project has been to increase the share of passengers using environmentally friendly modes of urban public transport in the city of Szczecin, which is located near the Baltic Sea. The city is a major seaport and is Poland's seventh-largest city with a population of just over 400 000. It has been the capital of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999.

In order to achieve this objective, the project sought to improve both capacity and comfort for commuters using the tram. The worst sections of tram track running along western districts of Szczecin were replaced, with overhead contact lines and light signalling also renovated. The project also involved the refurbishment of the Pogodno depot in order to adapt it to the requirements of low-floor rolling stock. 

Taken together, these improvements will lead to a better flow of public transport within the city, more efficient public transport connections and a better integrated urban public transport system. This will help to attract more users and lift more cars off the road, thus reducing congestion and cutting emissions. 

Urban benefits

This in turn will help to enhance the tourist appeal of the city, by making it possible for visitors to cover long distances quickly and easily. Szczecin is split in two parts (Lewobrzeże and Prawobrzeże) named after their location on banks of Oder (Lewobrzeże: left bank) and Regalica (Prawobrzeże: right bank) rivers. The port is situated in between. City centre and most of attractions are situated in Lewobrzeże. The Old Town was rebuilt in the late 1990s with reconstructions of buildings destroyed in World War II.  

This project is one of three projects that were carried out in parallel in order to expand the city’s tram network. The other two projects were "Construction of Szczecin Fast Tramway" and "Purchase of low-floor trams in Szczecin". All three projects share the common goal of improving the quality of public transport within the municipality and are therefore complementary. The cost of operating the new infrastructure, including all necessary renovations, repairs and upgrading, will be covered by the municipality of Szczecin, as the project beneficiary.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Construction and reconstruction of tram infrastructure in Szczecin” is EUR 64 178 003, with the EU’s Cohesion Fund contributing EUR 41 743 757 through the “Infrastructure and Environment” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Environment-friendly Transport”.

 

Draft date

14/11/2016