PKP Cargo wants to turn Medyka into ‘new Malaszewicze’
PKP Cargo wants to turn Medyka on the Polish border with Ukraine into a Polish hub for Eurasian traffic. It is now operating two terminals, which will open up for container traffic this summer. The next step is to expand to an XXL terminal of Malaszewice proportion.
The ambitious plans of the Polish rail and terminal operator are not without precedence. The route via Poland and Ukraine is gradually gaining popularity as an alternative corridor for Eurasian traffic, as the main route via Malaszewicze-Brest is getting more and more congested. Until now, many trains have arrived at Mostyska on the Ukrainian site, where they are sorted for further traffic towards the east or west.
From iron ore to container
The terminal in Medyka was originally an iron ore terminal. However, since rail transport of this commodity was suspended, PKP Cargo purchased two reach stackers so it could handle containers, narrates Wojciech Grzesiok, management board representative for intermodal affairs. Currently, it can handle 3-4 trains per day. “We are expecting the first trains to pass through our terminal in August or September.”
One of the main advantages is that the terminal offers transhipment from narrow to normal gauge (1435mm to 1520mm). Moreover, it offers storage possibilities, which means that the transhipment does not need to be carried out wagon per wagon, as in nearby terminals, Grzesiok explains.
Route E 30
The terminal should become a gateway route via southern Poland to Germany, a beneficial alternative to the main route via Malaszewicze in many ways, the Polish rail expert says. Not only because it avoids the busy border crossing with Belarus, but because it also avoids the congested route overall.
“If you continue from Medyka to Germany, you follow railway line E 30, which connects, among others, Dresden, Wroclaw, Opole, Gliwice, Katowice, Krakow and Lviv. With a length of 677km, the Polish section connects the major economic centres of southern Poland. Furthermore, with the E30 line from Poland to Germany, you will pass the Bielawa Dolna – Horka border crossing, which is less congested than the border crossing at Kunowice – Frankfurt Oder.”
If it is up to PKP Cargo, this is only the beginning. The expectations are high. “This route has a lot of potential. As soon as we have the volumes, we want to expand to an XXL terminal of Malaszewicze proportions.”
What are the volumes needed? Grzesiok talks about two trains daily. “Once we have a considerable number of trains running through this terminal, we will start building. We have the funds available, and also the Polish government is willing to support us. They are very interested in this border point.”
Wojciech Grzesiok will be speaking at this year’s RailFreight Summit Poland, which will take place on 1 & 2 September in Łódź. He will be speaking about the opportunities for Poland on the New Silk Road.