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Poland's PKP Intercity railways to spend $543 million to buy TGV

PKP Intercity wants to transport its passengers with TGV trains running over 200km/h. The railway company wants to buy 20 trains.

After Poland was granted the rights to organize European football championships, PKP Intercity decided to buy TGV trains faster than planned before. „We have decided to buy 20 trains within 2-3 years”, Czeslaw Warsewicz, PKP IC CEO. The feasibility study of the project is being conducted already. According to initial estimates, 20 trains will cost 1.5 billion (€400 million, $543 million). The project will be financed fifty-fifty from the company’s own funds and EU funds.

PKP IC wants to get funds from EU transport program for the years 2007-2013. The company has its own fund. Last year, it had 32 million zloty of net income. This year should be similar with record Q1 results - for the first time in history, the company had net income in the Q1 which is traditionally very difficult for railways. Besides, the company can borrow money. „We can get 200 million zloty even today”, Czeslaw Warsewicz assured.

According to initial itinerary, first TGV trains would start operations in Poland in 2010-2011. The problem is that the railway infrastructure is too old in some parts to go faster then 160km/h, and there are sections where trains have to slow down to several dozens km/h. It is up to PKP Polskie Koleje Liniowe, the company responsible for the railway infrastructure, whether TGV trains will be able to go fast in Poland. (railway-market.pl)