Alstom’s Pendolino, the first high-speed train in Poland, entered in service on Monday. The Pendolino trains will be operated on existing lines by PKP Intercity, the Polish national operator in charge of long-distance passenger transport, to connect the country’s five main cities, including Katowice.
This inauguration offers passengers new standards and shorter travel time between the northern and the southern parts of the country: Katowice, Kraków, Tri-City, Warsaw and Wrocław. The Pendolino trains depart from Katowice to Warsaw and the Tri-City. Now the travel between Katowice and the capital city lasts 2h 34 min and takes 6h 33 min to the Tri-City. Prices start from PLN 49 and PLN 98 respectively.
The PKP Pendolino has seven cars and can carry up to 402 people in three classes: first, second and dedicated close compartments for families. The cars are all equipped with air conditioning, passenger information on LED screens, table and sockets for each passenger, high luggage capacity and bicycle storage.
Other services provided on the trains are a restaurant area with bar and tables and universal accessibility including external elevator and a toilet accessible on wheelchair. In cooperation with Alstom’s Design & Styling center, the Polish designer maradDesign has created the graphic design and colors, and the Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro has conceived the aerodynamic front end that covers the crash absorption system.
„With this commissioning, Alstom confirms its expertise in the high-speed sector and the success of one of the best-seller high-speed trains in the world, the Pendolino, which has been optimized to fit the needs of the country’s railway network. Alstom is proud to take part in this breakthrough in the history of Polish railways” – said Andreas Knitter, Alstom Transport Senior Vice President Europe.
This commissioning follows the contract worth EUR 665 million awarded by PKP Intercity in 2011 to supply 20 high speed trains, the full maintenance of the fleet for up to 17 years and the construction of a maintenance depot.
In September 2014, the Polish Office of Rail Transport, responsible for the supervision of the railway sector’s safety in Poland, certified the Pendolino trains. During the tests performed, the Pendolino beat its own speed record with 293 km/h, establishing also Poland’s highest ever speed record on rail.
The trains have been manufactured in Savigliano, Italy, the Alstom center of excellence for Pendolino. The traction and auxiliary have been manufactured in Sesto, Italy, the bogies and motors, have been respectively produced in Le Creusot, Ornans, France and the on-board electronics come from Villeurbanne, France and Charleroi, Belgium.
The European Union is supporting sustainable transportation initiatives and allocated EUR 74 million for this high speed project in Poland. An additional EUR 10 billion will be granted within the EU cohesion fund 2014-2020 to further support the development of the Polish railway network. With 20 000 km of tracks, Poland has the 3rd biggest railway network in Europe.