The participants in the III-rd Railway Economic Forum, held in Krakow (Poland) on 10 September 2019, noted that an increasing number of transport companies and freight forwarders are showing their interest in carrying containers from Asia to Europe by rail. This was stated in the speeches of the representatives of government bodies, railways, freight forwarders, consignors and consignees from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, China, Poland, Ukraine, as well as the OSJD Committee.
“Poland is located at the intersection of the routes connecting North - South and East - West having great potential for the development of land routes: last year, more than 6300 trains passed from China to Europe via 68 routes, of which about 90% crossed the territory of Poland, and this number is constantly growing,” said Xu Xiaofeng, economic and trade adviser to the Chinese Embassy in the Republic of Poland, at the forum.
“Much has been done in the field of infrastructure development for the transportation of containers along the Trans-Caspian route for the past year: a new feeder vessel has been launched in the Black Sea, infrastructure has been rebuilt at the Izov border station, PKP LHS implemented the next stages of modernization of rolling stock and traffic control systems. Thanks to this, the offer for transportation using the wide gauge (1520 mm) in Poland is becoming more and more attractive and competitive,” said Zbigniew Tracichleb, Chairman of the Board of PKP LHS LLC (PKP Linia Hutnicza Szerokotorowa).
Undersecretary of State for Eastern Policy, and Asia at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Marcin Przydacz, spoke about diplomatic support for the project for the development of railway traffic in the Central Corridor. Mirosław Antonowicz, Member of the Board of PKP JSC, drew attention to the development of additional freight forwarding services that appear at transshipment terminals and which are planned to be organised at the Euroterminal in Sławków.
The PKP LHS has been intensively preparing for the launch of the New Silk Road from the investment side, too. In 2018, an agreement was signed with the European Investment Bank for financing an investment programme in the amount of almost 300 million zlotys. The main objective of the project is the automation of line No. 65 to improve train safety and increase throughput. In Zamość Bortatycze and Sławków, modern control centers have been opened. The company also received 10 upgraded 311Da locomotives. In general, PKP LHS plans to invest more than 800 million zlotys in the modernization of infrastructure and rolling stock by 2025.