CZ/SK verze

"The Czech Market Is Key for Railway Connections with Neighboring States," Says PESA President

&quote;The Czech Market Is Key for Railway Connections with Neighboring States,&quote; Says PESA President
photo: PESA Bydgoszcz / Public domain/Krzysztof Zdziarski,
07 / 06 / 2024

Krzysztof Zdziarski, Chairman and CEO of PESA Bydgoszcz, discusses the importance of the Three Seas Initiative and the TEN-T regulations in an exclusive interview with RAILTARGET. He sees significant potential in the Czech market.

As a leader in the Polish railway vehicle market, what are your expectations from the new European Commission that will be formed after the upcoming European Parliament elections?

As a railway vehicle manufacturer, we strongly hope that our initiative and the Three Seas project will be implemented in transportation through the realization of the TEN-T regulations. This applies both within our region and beyond. We have excellent projects with our partner countries, including the Czech Republic, Romania, the Baltic States, and the Balkans. Therefore, we want the cooperation between these countries within the Three Seas Initiative to develop with even greater dynamism.

This will help eliminate the existing transport exclusion of certain regions and accelerate catching up with the old EU member states. The EU used to focus solely on building cross-border highway connections, but if we now want to focus on clean and sustainable transport, railways must become the number one priority for the EU.

What is your opinion on the Czech market, where you operate, and what are PESA's prospects in the liberalized Czech market?

We consider the Czech market very important for two reasons. The Czech railway has developed very dynamically in recent years, and the Czech Republic, as the heart of Europe, improves railway connections with neighboring countries. Therefore, we want to closely collaborate with all Czech carriers on their plans, both with the national carrier ČD and all private carriers. They operate connections to neighboring and more distant countries, and we are pleased that highly competitive private companies choose PESA as a partner and order more vehicles from us. For us, this is a testament that our products are economically efficient and reliable for carriers.

The Rail Business Days fair in Ostrava is approaching, where Poland will be the partner country this year. What can we expect from PESA Bydgoszcz?

PESA offers a wide range of new solutions. We are currently focusing on reducing the weight of passenger vehicles and the efficiency of electric drives. Last year and this year, we introduced dual-system locomotives and sets, which are appreciated by carriers in cross-border operations and are important during the transformation of the Czech traction network. The new PESA Gama 3.0 series locomotives are also very lightweight and are particularly suitable for intermodal transport. Our clients buy all the locomotives we produce. We have found a niche in the market; previously, these locomotives were produced by Bombardier, and it is now a strong production element for our company.

We manage to produce 3-4 per month, and we have already sold the first hundred units. Additionally, we are introducing second-generation batteries and hydrogen drives. These locomotives operate the last mile on battery power and have a hydrogen generator, ensuring operation across the entire network regardless of traction. This is especially important for local and regional lines, of which there are many in the Czech Republic. Due to the population density structure, it may not be cost-effective to electrify all lines, so we believe that our Regioshark and Regifox trains have a future on your lines.


Krzysztof Zdziarski

Chairman and CEO of PESA Bydgoszcz. Zdziarski has been leading the company, which is now controlled by the state through the Polish Development Fund (PFR), since 2019. He has been a board member and CEO since January 2020. He studied economics at the University of Warsaw and also studied at Humber College, Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, Canada, and the Management Leadership School in Boston, USA. He worked at PKN Orlen since 2010 and was in management, becoming CEO of Unipetrol in 2018. He had previously worked in the Czech Republic as a manager at UPS from 1999-2006.