The first private passenger train in Poland
Railway Market magazine: 24 February 2006
On Monday, 21 February 2006, PCC Rail Szczakowa, one of the biggest Polish private railway freight operators, presented its first passenger train.
The company thinks about joining the passenger railway transport market in Poland. The unit was provided by PESA Bydoszcz and it was a SA 132 - 002 air conditioned and disabled adjusted DMU, capable of carrying up to 115 passengers.
However, a spokesman of PKP PLK (Polish infrastructure company) says that they signed a contract with PCC Rail only for 4 pilot runs. "I do not know if they going to keep using our infrastructure" he said.
PCC didn't reveal about its future plans towards providing passenger services. Although private railway companies can freely use the infrastructure belonging to PKP PLK, it is more profitable for them to operate on the freight than the passenger railway market, which depends upon financial subsidies by local governments.
- There is still no stable regulation of financing regional passenger transport in Poland. There is also no certainty that the rules of using PKP PLK infrastructure will soon be defined - says Henryk Klimkiewicz, chairman of Railway Business Forum.
The last government's strategy towards regional services was to create joint ventures with participation of self-governments providing financing and PKP Regional Operator, who would provide assets. Koleje Mazowieckie (KM), Mazovia region's passenger operator proved to be financially efficient.
Now, when the current government withdraws from its plans towards the regionalization reform, the future role of self-governments in financing regional services is not certain.
The shortcomings mentioned by Mr. Klimkiewicz are fundamental barriers for the private railway carriers willing to join the passenger transport railway market.