CZ/SK verze

Polish Railway Chamber: "Hydrogen and High-Speed Rail Are Priorities"

Polish Railway Chamber: &quote;Hydrogen and High-Speed Rail Are Priorities&quote;
photo: Raport Kolejowy / Public domain/Adam Musiał
07 / 06 / 2024

Adam Musiał, Director of the Polish Railway Chamber, discussed key topics for the Polish railway industry in an exclusive interview with RAILTARGET. According to him, cooperation with the Czech Republic and Central Europe holds great potential, particularly in infrastructure and rolling stock manufacturing.

Mr. Director, the Polish Railway Chamber has been around for nearly a quarter of a century. Can you tell us about its activities?

Our self-governing railway organization was founded in 1999 and operates based on the 1989 Economic Chambers Act. Over the years, our activities have evolved alongside Poland's economic changes. In 2000, the state railway company PKP was commercialized, leading to the formation of new railway companies. In 2004, we joined the European Union. Today, we address entirely new topics such as high-speed rail and the use of hydrogen in rail transport. Our core activity is to unite entities working in favor of railways. Poland's geographic location in Europe and the size and shape of the country make it an ideal environment for railway development. We promote rail transport, support our railway industry companies and carriers, and help forge business and personal connections among them. We also invite foreign entities to collaborate while seeking positions for Polish exporters in foreign markets. Supporting education and exchanging knowledge and experiences are vital elements of our work.

What topics are important for the entire railway industry in Poland, and how do you address them?

There are many important topics. Timeless issues include ecology, the use of renewable energy sources, and educating railway personnel at the secondary and higher education levels. There are also many current topics, such as funds from the National Recovery Plan, the construction of the CPK network (high-speed railways and a new airport), the EU's 4th Railway Package, and Poland's connection to the Rail Baltica project. We are very active in the market, organizing meetings, seminars, and conferences. We participate in fairs and business missions and meet with railway company management, state administration, and politicians. You can find us on social media, and we publish the magazine Raport Kolejowy, the largest bi-monthly railway publication in Poland.

Poland is completing its highway network and focusing on modernizing railway infrastructure. What do you expect from the new government and the new PKP management, particularly PKP PLK and the company preparing high-speed rail CPK?

Road transport in Poland still competes with rail transport, and unfortunately, it is very effective. We are currently working on improving this situation with government and railway company initiatives. Generally, we expect better cooperation with the market and a more rational approach to investments. As entrepreneurs, we want to be partners in developing Poland's transport infrastructure. We expect dialogue and cooperation in solving problems and support in developing individual entities and the sector as a whole.

Does cooperation with the Czech Republic and Central Europe generally have potential? In which areas should we collaborate?

Every cooperation has potential. It may not always translate into measurable economic benefits, but it brings educational value and new experiences. We are very open to cooperation with the Czech Republic, although recent history shows that Czech companies are more active in the Polish market, whereas it is the opposite less frequently. The Czech Republic tends to lean more towards German companies. This has been evident at the Ostrava railway fair, Rail Business Days. In the early 2000s, there were dozens of Polish exhibitors, but in recent years almost none. This year, four Polish companies will exhibit. We should aim for bilateral cooperation within Central Europe. We have gained new experiences with COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine. We should move from globalization to regionalization. Together with the Czech Republic, we joined the EU, which also obliges us to pursue common goals within the EU. We face extensive investments in railways and will need partners in infrastructure and rolling stock manufacturing. I see significant potential in this.

The interview was conducted by the RAILTARGET editorial team with the Director of the Polish Railway Chamber, who is also the editor-in-chief of the bi-monthly railway magazine Raport Kolejowy and the professional tram magazine Raport Tramwajowy. He graduated from Kazimierz Wielki University and earned an MBA in Gdańsk. He has been dedicated to the Chamber for 25 years, living and working in Bydgoszcz, where the Railway Chamber, uniting 360 entities, is headquartered.