Track and system enhancements to accelerate regional trains

A 58-km stretch of rail line from Wrocław to Poznań is being modernised. The main goal is to speed up both passenger and freight trains.

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The project is one of several scheduled for Poland’s E-59 rail line, which runs from Chałupki in the south-west to the Baltic seaport of Świnoujście, and forms part of the strategically important TEN-T (Trans-European Transport) network. By 2030, the E-59 will carry passenger trains with a maximum speed of 200 km/hour.

Line and infrastructure renovation

Permanent speed limits are today enforced on the E-59 rail line, due to the poor condition of tracks, turnouts and technical facilities. These problems have increased the average travel time of fast trains between Wrocław and Poznań by 15% and by around double that for express trains.

Work on the double-tracked, electrified line of approximately 162 km will be spread over two phases lasting several years, and is aimed at raising train speeds and axle loads. In stage two of the first phase, a 58.1 km stretch of track between Wrocław and Poznań will undergo a major renovation. This includes land purchase and construction works from Wroclaw to the border of Dolnośląskie region in central Poland.

Specific work includes improvements to track infrastructure and related systems, plus the modernisation of train stops – including construction of a new one in Wrocław. The total number of level crossings will be reduced from 37 to 23, with the construction of parallel roads and two-level crossings to replace those removed as well as safety enhancements at the remaining crossings.

Faster, heavier trains

After completion of the project, passenger trains will be able to reach speeds of 160 km/hr and freight trains up to 120 km/hr. This will cut journey times by more than nine minutes on the section between Wrocław and the border of Dolnośląskie region. The track will also be suitable for heavier trains, with an EU-standard axle load up to 221 kN, and capable of carrying freight trains up to 750 m in length.

Modernisation will increase the line’s security, thanks for example to new or improved crossings and pedestrian passages. New acoustic screens and anti-vibration elements are also expected to limit the line’s environmental impact. Lastly, the project will prepare this line section for installation of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) and European Train Control System (ETCS) level 2; this is scheduled between 2017 and 2020.

Draft date