The European Commission has approved investments of 419.3 million from the EU Cohesion Fund (CF) to support three major rail and tram transport projects to significantly improve transport services between the cities Warsaw and Radom, as well as in Poznań and in the Silesia region. The projects are aimed at modernising the public transport systems in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way, boosting passenger numbers and providing commuters and visitors with improved travel conditions, more comfort and shorter journey times. One of the projects, in Poznan opened for business just this week. The EU contribution will help Poland meet well over half the costs.
Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn who approved the investments, said “These are a good example of the EU’s investments under Regional Policy contributing to improving the mobility of our citizens, ensuring safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly travel conditions. These sort of infrastructure development projects boost competitiveness and contribute to the strengthening of the overall economy while at the same time supporting a move to more sustainable forms of transport like rail and tram”.
The investments are all financed under the Polish operational programme “Infrastructure and Environment” under the same priority “Environment-friendly transport”.
The project “Modernisation of railway line no. 8 section Warsaw Okęcie – Radom” involves the upgrade of 49 km of the railway line between Warsaw Okęcie Radom in Mazowieckie Region. Thanks to the improved railway line the overall speeds of the line will increase to 160 km/h for passenger traffic and to 120 km/h for freight traffic and once implemented by the end of 2015 the number of passengers taking the train will increase in Southern Poland. The European Union, through the CF, will finance EUR 239.4 million out of the total investment of EUR 428.7 million.
The project “Construction of Franowo tram depot in Poznań” in the Region of Greater Poland consists of construction of a tram depot in Poznań with a 100-tram parking shed together with inspection shed, workshop sheds, technical equipment, storage facilities and stabling for utility vehicles, with track and power-supply infrastructure enabling vehicles to move around within the depot . The project was opened this week.. The European Union, through the Cohesion Fund, will finance €48.6 million out of a total investment of €75.4 million.
The project “The modernization of tram and trolleybus transport infrastructure in the Silesian Agglomeration with accompanying infrastructure” aims at improving the public transport system in seven municipalities of the Upper Silesia Metropolitan Area. Due to the project, the number of passengers served by the more environment friendly public transport system will rise to about 3.6 million annually. Also the journey times between the towns concerned will be reduced to 5-10%. The project was implemented in 2013 and the European Union, through the Cohesion Fund , financed EUR 131.3 million out of a total investment of EUR 201.8 million.
These are “major projects”, of which the total investment (VAT included) is above €50 million and thus subject to a specific decision by the European Commission whereas other types of projects are approved at national or regional levels.
The co-financing decisions for these projects fall under the programming period 2007-2013.
Poland has been allocated approximately €67 billion in cohesion policy funding for 2007-2013 and €77.3 billion (current prices) for 2014-2020.