Malaszewicze intermodal terminal, source: PKP Cargo

Malaszewicze no longer an EU priority, focus on Ukraine

Source: PKP CargoPKP Cargo

Billions of euros are invested in the railway network of Poland. It is the largest beneficiary of EU funds, and its own government has doubled the investment amount for rail this year. Yet, the new reality has changed the investment needs, and the EU is shifting priorities.

This is at the heart of the discussion on the first day of the RailFreight Summit in Warsaw, which takes place on 7 & 8 September next week. The loss of EU funds at Malaszewicze, the renewed focus on Ukraine and the efficiency of the investments that are done are some of the discussion points.

Malaszewicze no longer funded

Malaszewice is no longer on the core network of Europe, it is now just a ‘regular hub’ on the east-west corridor. This is a result from the decision by the EU to exclude Belarus, due to the current political conflict. Instead, a renewed focus on Ukraine on the corridor has been established.

Although this is understandable from a political point of view, this decision did impact Poland as well, explains Martyna Wilczewska from the Polish Supply Management Leaders Association (PSML). “This is already visible in that the border crossing of Malaszewice is not receiving funding from the EU as of yet. There was a tender for EU funds where Malaszewicze made a very good case, but the funds were not obtained.”

Malaszewicze is however an important place for local development too, she adds. There is now room for new development opportunities, which she wants to discuss further at the RailFreight Summit.

Infrastructure investments inefficient

While government investments continue, this does not mean that money is where it needs to be, argues Jakub Majewski from the Pro Kolej Foundation, who also speaks at the conference. In his opinion, the results of the investments that are carried out are not so positive.

“There is a difference between the view of the infrastructure manager and that of the customer of rail. Whereas the infrastructure manager thinks of the raliiways as a product that needs to sell, the customer wants a good experience. The infrastructure manager looks at train speed, the customer at transit time. This is something we are strongly criticising as an organisation”, he says.

The same discrepancy can be observed in Malaszewicze, Majewski argues. “The EU has invested 1 billion euros in Malaszewicze, but these investments have not been used efficiently. Or take the line between Warsaw and Poznan; after all the works that are done, trains will be only 5 minutes faster on this route.”

Join the discussion

These important topics will again be raised in the audience debate, where delegates to the conference will be asked to take a stance. Do you want to join this debate? Registration is still open, but seats are limited.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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