The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed two loan agreements worth more than zl323m ($86m) for tram projects in Poland.
The loan will be used for the purchase of modern, energy-efficient, low-floor trams for Krakow and towns in Upper Silesia.
As part of its support towards Silesia, the EIB will also finance the modernisation of the existing tram stock and infrastructure in the region.
The financing plan and implementation of the projects were completed with the EIB loans along with EU structural funds.
EIB Poland vice-president László Baranyay said: "Promoting competitive and environmentally friendly transport services is among the European Investment Bank’s operational priorities."
Of the total loan amount, zl92m ($24m) has been allocated to the Krakow Municipal Transport Company (MPK) to buy 36 low-floor trams, which will be 43m-long, with a capacity for approximately 300 passengers.
The remaining loan amount of zl231m ($61m) will be used to improve Upper Silesia’s tram infrastructure and to buy 42 low-floor trams, as well as to modernise 95 trams that have been serving the Silesian cities.
The EIB funds will also be used to finance the reconstruction of the traction system and modernisation of almost 63km of tracks.
PESA Bydgoszcz will be responsible for manufacturing the new trams for Krakow and Silesia, which will feature high-tech, energy-saving motors and with special platforms, making boarding and disembarking easier for those with reduced mobility.
The new trams for Silesia will also be produced by Modertrans Poznan.
Image: The $86m EIB loan will be used to buy new trams for Krakow and Silesia. Photo: courtesy of European Investment Bank.