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PKP Intercity rolling stock gets support with a PLN 2 billion loan from the EIB. Why does a Polish carrier need a loan?

PKP Intercity rolling stock gets support with a PLN 2 billion loan from the EIB. Why does a Polish carrier need a loan?
photo: PKP Intercity/PKP Intercity
15 / 12 / 2021

This loan will get used to purchasing new rolling stock and unit modernization that the company already owns while increasing the chance of utilizing the railways for passengers and improving travel comfort. The loan will also contribute to increasing the frequency of using PKP Intercity and may change the habits of Poles to the benefit of choosing rail travel. PLN 2 billion is the first part of a vaster loan obligation of PLN 4.5 billion previously approved by the EIB Board of Directors for PKP Intercity. This loan reaches a milestone of the largest EIB-approved loan for the Polish rail sector. The loan got signed on December 10, 2021, in Warszaw.

The Polish rail sector is getting a crucial boost due to significant European Investment Bank (EIB) financing. Special attention gets paid to PKP Intercity as the largest polish rail carrier. EIB and PKP Intercity signed a loan agreement for PLN 2 billion (approximately EUR 434 million), which will help the company finance a strategic program of rolling stock modernization. 

The program focuses on increasing the frequency, safety, and appeal of long-distance train journeys throughout the country, as well as improving accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility.

Vice-president of the EIB prof. Teresa Czerwińska commented: “We are glad that we can support PKP Intercity in its ambitious rolling stock renewal plans. Sustainable transport is part of the solution to the climate crisis. Trains are an important asset for achieving a more climate-friendly lifestyle without sacrificing comfort. Better trains improve mobility and comfort, create connections, and at the same time help green our economies by shifting traffic from road to rail. This project complements many infrastructure investments supported by the EIB in previous years which include the modernization of the railway network and the modernization of the rolling stock of large operators such as PKP Intercity. "

Additional data on the Polish rail sector

-Over the past ten years, Poland has undertaken significant work to improve Poland's railway infrastructure, with strong support from the EIB (EUR 3.9bn in loans for 19 projects with a total investment of almost EUR 11bn). This project is therefore complementary to many infrastructure investments, supported by the EIB and by EU subsidies in previous years. The support of both the Bank and the EU made it possible to achieve the assumed economic benefits from infrastructure investments.

-The length of the railway line used in Poland is 19,461 km and is the third-longest in the EU after France and Germany. Although, the rail passenger transport utilization rate (number of rail passengers/number of inhabitants in the country) of 8.7x (in 2019) remains behind the European average of 20.1x.

- The demand for PKP Intercity services is growing dynamically from 25.6 million passengers in 2014 to 48.9 million passengers in 2019 (+ 91%), an average of 14% per year. The supply of services in this period increased by 60% (average + 10% annually). It gets expected that the demand gets expected to grow gradually, reaching 2019 levels in 2025 and 84 million passengers in 2029.

-The current investment program of PKP Intercity (PLN 19 billion - EUR 4.2 billion in 2021-2030) provides for the further significant growth of the modernized and new rolling stock. It will contribute to the meeting of the expected demand and increasing the ability to offer high-quality services, as well as promotion of sustainable transport. The modernization works of the rolling stock are still ongoing new acquisitions, including admission to service, which will happen during the 2021-2028 period.

- By modernizing its fleet and working on the concept of modern trains, PKP Intercity cares that their equipment and space organization are best suited to the needs of various customer groups, including the elderly, people with disabilities, or people with young children. PKP Intercity will also take crucial steps to recognize the issue of equality and its impact on the design of push-pull double-decker trains and make trains more comfortable and safer for women.

- It is the fifth loan agreement signed between the EIB and PKP Intercity since 2006. The previous loan got signed in 2019. More details on a dedicated page