POLAND: Mayor of Warszawa Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz has approved a major investment to upgrade the capital's tram network, following her recent decision to postpone construction of metro Line 2 until after 2012.

Faced with the prospect that the first phase of Line 2 would not be ready for the Euro 2012 football championship, she decided to cancel the current tender process and reallocate the city's share of the funding to tram and suburban rail projects.

Last month the city awarded a multi-year operating contract worth 16bn zloty to Tramwaje Warszawskie, including 2bn zloty for new rolling stock and 5bn for track renewals and the construction of new lines. However, TW will have to raise some of the money itself, as the EU funding earmarked for the metro cannot be reassigned.

While some existing cars will be refurbished, the operator plans to purchase 246 trams over the next 20 years to replace its aging fleet (RG 9.08 p561). On August 22 TW launched a tender for 186 new 100% low-floor cars, 33 m long and 2 400 mm wide with a capacity for 200 passengers, including 40 seated. Fitted with CCTV cameras and ticket machines, the air-conditioned vehicles are to be delivered by the end of 2013.

In the meantime, the first of five six-car trains being built by Wagonmash St Petersburg has arrived in Warszawa. Formed of two type 81-572·2 driving cars and four 81-573·2 intermediate vehicles, the new trains will augment the fleet on the extended Line 1, which should be fully operational later this year.