Modernization of tram lines will be started this year

Tramwaje Śląskie S.A., a management company of the Upper Silesian interurban tram system, and the Center for the EU Transport Projects (CEUTP) signed an agreement for a financial support of tram lines modernization in the Katowice agglomeration. Works are scheduled to commence in the second quarter of 2012.

A refit of about 46 kilometers of tram lines in six cities (15% of the entire tram line system in the agglomeration), purchasing of 30 new trams and modernization of 75 old vehicles of the “105N” type will be provided within the project worth PLN 801 million.

The modernization process should begin this year in Katowice where the 2 kilometers long tram line on 3 Maja St. is to be renovated for a kick-off. Additionally, parts of City’s tramlines located along the “Tysiąclecia” housing estate, in the “Szopienice” district, on Kościuszki St. and Korfantego Av. will be modernized within the project.

The remaining works will be conducted in the cities of Chorzów, Bytom, Zabrze, Ruda Śląska and Sosnowiec. The project also embraces an improvement of trolley-bus lines in Tychy.

The EU financial support, disposed by the CEUTP under the Operational Programme “Infrastructure and Environment”, totals more than net PLN 384 million which is 59 percent of the estimated costs (net PLN 652 m, gross PLN 801 m). The grant’s admission has to be confirmed by the European Commission. Authorities of Tramwaje Śląskie expect the decision in the first quarter of 2012.

To finance the project, the company is going to borrow PLN 231 million from the European Investment Bank and commercial banks.

It is planned to finish the works by the end of 2013 with a possibility to extend it up to 12 months. First new trams are to be delivered in the turn of 2013 and 2014.

The tram system was established in 1894 and is currently claimed to be one of the largest tram network in the world. Nowadays, it covers a total length of 336 kilometers of track including 222 km of double track. There are 25 numbers of routes operating in the area of 13 cities of the agglomeration and approximately 330 vehicles on-duty.