Poles torn apart
JUNE 1 sees Polskie Linie Kolejowe PLK SA set up as a subsidiary company to manage Polish State Railways' infrastructure, marking a key stage in privatisation of the 22113 route-km Polish network under legislation passed on September 8 2000. Since then, the programme has proceeded steadily, if not quite to the timetable set out last year (RG 12.00 p792). PKP became a joint stock company on January 1 and approval has since been granted by the PKP board for several planned subsidiary companies to be established; all operating companies are due to be formed by the end of this month.
PKP Intercity was vested on April 3 to run Eurocity, IC and other long-distance passenger trains, and it takes over management responsibility for these services from June 10. Linia Hutniczo-Siarkowa is the company that will operate the 1520mm gauge line built to carry iron ore from the Ukrainian border at Hrubieszów to the steelworks at Katowice in Silesia, and Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa will take over suburban services on the almost isolated line between Warszawa and Grodzisk, which in contrast to the principal network wired at 3 kV DC is electrified at 600V DC. In the north, SKM is to be set up to run commuter trains between Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia and Wejherowo. The intention is that SKM trains will have their own tracks, except between Rumia and Wejherowo where they will share tracks with PKP services.
Considerable potential is forecast for the company set up to exploit PKP's telecommunications and data transmission network. In July provision of power supply is to transfer to PKP Energetyka, another company that was vested on April 3. PKP Ferpol will manage procurement and stores, and other businesses will be formed from PKP's infrastructure, construction and heavy maintenance units. Yet another company will run staff training courses. Amazingly, PKP has its own network of pharmacies, and PKP Pharmacy came into being at the end of March.
- On April 9 an Ebilock 850 computer-based interlocking was commissioned at Szczecin Glówny, replacing one relay-operated signalbox and three mechanical boxes. The installation controls 84 switches, 26 main signals, 61 shunting signals, and seven distant and repeater signals.