The European Union (EU) has unveiled plans to invest more than €880m ($966m) in two projects to improve the rail network in Poland.

The two projects will focus on increasing the speed, safety and capacity of the Polish rail network.

A total of €838m has been granted to overhaul the 214.5km-long southern section of the railway line No 131, which links Chorzów Batory station with Zduńska Wola Karsznice station.

The money will be used primarily to replace the track surface and reinforce the ground under the rail. It will also be used to fund the construction of bridges and viaducts.

It is estimated that this investment will reduce cargo transport travel time by 37 minutes and interregional passengers transport run time by 30 minutes.

It will also improve services, which will provide better access and safety for people with reduced mobility.

The remaining €43m will be used to purchase 930 platform wagons to transport containers via railway. The wagons will operate on 91 routes between maritime and land terminals, covering almost the entire Polish territory.

Both projects are expected to be operational from January 2023.

EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy, Enlargement Negotiations and Regional Policy Johannes Hahn said: “Seamless railway connections for passengers and freight will boost territorial cohesion in Poland while ensuring better quality of air in the country in the long run. This is another Cohesion Policy success story.”

Last month, the EU planned to invest over €117m to connect different parts of Europe, with a focus on sustainable transport modes.

The projects will receive support from the organisation’s financial instrument that supports transport infrastructure, Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).