Modernising key railway line brings many benefits

A major project to modernise a 138 km stretch of railway line between the Polish cities of Krakow and Rzeszow promises to make travel by train more attractive by cutting journey times, improving safety and boosting environmental standards.

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Currently, the railway line is subject to speed restriction which will be lifted when the project is completed. The modernisation works will enable passenger trains to travel up to 160 km/hour and freight trains up to 120 km/hour. For intercity trains, journey times between the two cities will come down by about 38 minutes. In all, the project is expected to produce passenger journey time savings of approximately EUR 27.1 million per year in 2015. The modernisation will also allow for an increase in axel loads to 22.5 tons per axel.

Extensive works for a major project

To achieve these goals, the following work will be undertaken:

  • Track systems, including earthwork and drainage: Overhead lines and stations will be upgraded. In addition, power generation equipment and the traction power supply will be modernised. The non-traction supply line (LPN) will be reconstructed along the 138 km route.
  • Buildings and platforms: Older platforms will be removed and new ones constructed along with the necessary earthworks, underpasses and stairways. Ramps and lifts will be installed for people with limited mobility. Shelters, platform canopies and information boards will also be introduced.
  • Installations for environmental protection: Work here includes construction of passageways for animals, and the adjustment of culverts and bridges.
  • Engineering structures: 42 bridges and 96 viaducts and flyovers will be constructed – plus, many existing structures will be modernised.
  • Railway crossings: The scheme calls for the removal of 49 railway crossings and the construction of one new crossing; 15 existing crossings will be revamped.
  • Rail traffic control systems: Preparations will be made for the installation of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), which is a Europe-wide standard for safely controlling trains. The line’s railway traffic control systems – including radio communications and automatic level-crossing equipment – will be compatible with ERTMS. The work should mean that ERTMS can be installed and made operational by 31 May 2020 at the latest.

This project is stage three of a wider scheme which provides for the complete modernisation of the E30/C-E30 railway line between Krakow and Medyka – a town on the border with Ukraine. The route forms part of the EU’s trans-European transport network (TEN-T) corridor three, which connects Berlin to Dresden before moving through cities in southern Poland and Ukraine. The TEN-T programme aims to improve transport infrastructures across the EU so that people and goods can move more efficiently across the continent.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project  “Modernisation of railway line E30/C-E 30, section Krakow-Rzeszow, Stage III” is EUR 1 129 367 009, with the EU’s Cohesion Fund contributing EUR 498 816 673 for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. The project is funded through the priority “Environmentally Friendly Transport” of the Operational Programme “Infrastructure and Environment”. 

Draft date