The Koreans jump in the Katowice-Ostrava high-speed line construction
The Korean National Railway (KNR) and Dohwa Engineering, also from South Korea, won the CPK tender to design the new high-speed railway line that will link Katowice in Poland with Ostrava in Czechia. The contract amounts to 134 million Zloty (approximately 30 million euros). The line will also benefit rail freight traffic and streamline the construction of a new intermodal terminal.
KNR is a state-owned company that has carried out railway construction projects, technical consultancy services and feasibility studies, including high-speed rail. Dohwa Engineering, it is an engineering and construction company that has completed more than 7,000 projects at national and global levels.
New intermodal terminal
The Katowice-Ostrava high-speed line will cross the cities of Rybnik, Żory, Jastrzębie Zdrój and Wodzisław Śląsk before crossing the Polish-Czech border on the way to Ostrava. The connection between the latter two will be new as it currently does not exist. New railway stations are planned across the new line, but most importantly, a new intermodal terminal could be constructed in Wodzisław Śląski.
The operation of an intermodal terminal in the region could be considered an essential addition to the existing network, which includes rail freight hubs like Ostrava, Katowice, Slawkow or even Dabrowa Gornicza.
Limited space for freight
Freight will not have a leading role in the new Katowice-Ostrava line because high-speed passenger trains will occupy the route. “Sections of it will be available to freight services”, says CPK; however, its most significant contribution is that it will probably alleviate the existing lines from passenger traffic, thus providing more space for rail freight.
In any case, as mentioned before, the region which the new line will cross is a transport and economic hotspot. In this sense, even the slightest contribution can be valuable, either with the possible construction of an additional terminal or by the provision of extra track capacity.