POLISH oil company PKN Orlen has been awarded a licence to operate its own freight trains on the national rail network. The company plans to run trains between its production and distribution plants.

Orlen is the latest operator to announce open-access freight services in Poland, following Chem Trans Logistic and two Rail Polska subsidiaries, ZEC-Trans and Kolmex. The Rail Polska firms were awarded licences in August 2003, and ZEC-Trans launched its first coal trains on October 13, using a fleet of four Russian TEM2 diesel locos. Kolmex expects to start running later this year.

Chem Trans Logistic is operating cross-border services to and from Germany with rail4chem. To expand its operations, the company announced last month that it had bought three second-hand electric locos from Morocco. Part of a fleet of 23 built for ONCFM by Pafawag in Wroclaw in 1975, they are similar to PKP’s Class ET22s.