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The international traffic route E65 was included in the 6th European Transport Corridor in the 90s but the history of Polish projects in the EU did not start until 2003. At that time, the list of EU projects contained two rail projects running through Poland. E65 was the first of them, with Rail Baltica being the other. It was a breakthrough moment for Polish projects in the EU.
E65 is an important project – on the one hand, it is responsible for modernization of the local rail infrastructure for the inhabitants of this region, and on the other hand, it is part of a priority EU project included in the trans-European transport network.
The LOT A section is situated in the very heart of Silesia, which is a region with an extremely high level of urbanization. The basic challenge during project implementation is adjusting it to the existing infrastructure, as well as appropriate phasing of its execution in agreement with administrative bodies and city authorities. The aim is to organize the functioning of the surrounding infrastructure (including the road network) as efficiently as possible in the conditions of the planned modernization work, and to reduce their negative impact on the local community. The project assumes that the railway line will be passable throughout the implementation of the investment, which is why the work will be carried out in stages. Phasing must be planned with particular precision since it affects the timetables, which must be announced in advance in accordance with legal regulations. Another key challenge of the project is to take account of mining damage and to protect against its possible consequences. The LOT D section is a more standard project as it does not go through heavily urbanized areas or areas of mining damage.
The investment, related to both LOT and LOT D, involves various industries, including tracks, traction, the railway traffic control system (SRK), engineering structures and other associated infrastructure (e.g. buildings, control rooms, drainage). Our task is to prepare the design documentation on the basis of a feasibility study and the tender documentation for the selection of a contractor, as well as to obtain all of the necessary administrative decisions and to supplement environmental and location decisions. The scope of the design documentation preparation includes the Spatial Programming Concept, the Construction Project and the Detailed Design. The Detailed Design provides details of all industries included in the Construction Project, except for the railway traffic control system (SRK) and telecommunications. This is a forward-looking project – it is compatible with the railway investments planned by PKP PLK SA (Polish railway infrastructure company) for the next few years and with other plans such as the Solidarity Transport Hub Poland or high-speed railways.
The project will have a key impact on transport in every dimension – regional, national and European. All carriers will use the new infrastructure – those involved in local and regional traffic and those involved in international passenger and freight transport. The project covers the needs of various carriers and ensures their development. It is also in line with the plans of PLK and takes into account the areas where numerous sidings and train stations will be built.
The railway plays a particularly important role in Silesia and is often the primary means of transport for the inhabitants due to a high concentration of cities. After completion of the project (and the subsequent planned phases of the work), the safety and punctuality of trains will improve. The inhabitants will save time spent commuting thanks to the investment, and the comfort of using the railways will increase thanks to the new infrastructure. All of these elements will improve the image of rail transport in the region and will promote further popularization.