The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide €47m of funding to Polish rail freight operator PKP Cargo to upgrade its fleet.
The funding is aimed at improving infrastructure and rolling stock in Poland.
PKP Cargo will use the money to purchase new rolling stock over the next three years to increase the quality of freight rail services in the country.
As part of the modernisation programme, the rail freight operator will also upgrade locomotives and wagons, while replacing the ageing fleet with modern diesel locomotives that consume less fuel and oil apart from operating with low noise and vibration.
EIB said that by providing new and modernised rolling stock, the project will increase the quality of freight rail services in Poland. It is expected that the new fleet will allow more efficient operation, reduce maintenance costs and lower energy consumption for PKP Cargo.
The EIB funding will also help the rail freight operator to compete with other modes, particularly road, so as to maintain or improve its modal share. In addition, it also provides high financial value added to PKP Cargo by making available long-term funds at favourable rates.
The bank claims that shifting freight transport from other modes to rail will result in reduced vehicle operation costs, and increased safety and environmental benefits.
PKP Cargo owns about 3,549 locomotives and 50,731 freight wagons.
In December 2012, EIB agreed to provide a €139m loan to support the purchase of 35 new metro trains for the Warsaw metro line in Poland.
Image: A PKP Cargo freight vehicle. Photo: courtesy of EIB.