POLAND: Modular and ‘hydrogen ready’ rolling stock and technology partnerships are included in a five-year development strategy set out by rolling stock manufacturer Pesa Bydgoszcz.
The company said it aims to achieve stable development, strengthen its position in the domestic market and expand internationally by drawing on existing experience and co-operating with strategic technology partners.
The most important project will be the development of Regio160, a standardised modular multiple-unit platform which can be configured with different traction systems and interiors according to an operator’s specific needs.
As well as electric-only units, versions equipped with batteries or hydrogen fuel cells for use on non-electrified lines are envisaged.
The fuel cell multiple-unit will draw on the experience Pesa has gained through the development of a hydrogen shunting locomotive, and the Elf.eu Class 654 EMU for use by RegioJet in the Czech Republic which will be Pesa’s first dual-voltage export design for 3 kV DC and 25 kV 50 Hz.
Noting that it was the only Polish manufacturer with experience of building double-deck vehicles, Pesa said it was planning a new generation of push-pull coaches, as it sees a ‘very promising market’ for inter-city and regional vehicles.
The company wants to strengthen its position as a tram manufacturer, entering new European markets by building on recent contract wins in Iași, Craiova, Sofia and Košice.
Pesa aims to offer a modular tram design, using a common structure with various interior and equipment options.
Pesa will unveil its hydroegen-fuelled shunting locomotive at the Trako trade fair in Gdańsk this September.
It is also continuing developing its Gama family, offering 3 kV, 15 kV 16·7 Hz and 25 kV 50 Hz multi-system electric locomotives with maximum speeds of 200 km/h, as well as variants with last-mile engines and full electro-diesel capabilities.
Pesa’s 2025+ strategy includes the development of new technologies and IT tools, optimising the costs of current products and organisational changes. The company aims to consolidate and expand its maintenance and servicing activities at home and abroad in order to build up a profitable after-sales business, which is expected to account for a significant share of group revenues.
Poland’s state-owned development fund PFR took a stake in Pesa in 2018, after the company hit cash-flow problems as a result of the early termination of a Moscow tram contract owing to the customer’s inability to pay, an expected order from PKP Intercity not materialising, delays to DMU type approval in Germany and a large number of repairs being undertaken under warranty.
‘Pesa, as the largest domestic producer of rolling stock, and thanks to a stable investor, PFR SA, can focus today on developing modern technologies and new vehicles that meet the needs of passengers and industry and environmental requirements’ said PFR President Paweł Borys when the 2025+ strategy was announced on July 21.
‘I believe that the implementation of this strategy will contribute to the company’s development, making it the largest producer of modern rolling stock in central and eastern Europe.’
Pesa CEO Krzysztof Zdziarski explained that ‘the fact that we deliver vehicles on time, that our customers are satisfied with, is the result of changes introduced in all areas.
‘We have improved direct relations with operators, we have adapted vehicle designs to customer needs, we have restored good relations with suppliers and co-operators, we have started a technological breakthrough in production focused on robots and automation, and we reliably and manage financial processes and settlements. All this creates a new image of Pesa’.
The company was planning to work with external partners to produce vehicles for operation at speeds above 200 km/h, and would also consider co-operation with other rolling stock and technology suppliers, Zdziarski added.
‘We are establishing co-operation with other technological partners, including foreign ones, who have experience in, among others, the implementation of high-speed rail projects or the implementation of hydrogen technologies. This openness to co-operation and building competences for the future through partnerships is one of the changes in Pesa’s approach to development. We have gained a lot of experience in the production of rail vehicles, we have a team of very good specialists, we set ourselves new goals, but we approach them with humility.’