Polish national rail operator PKP Intercity has launched the first Alstom’s Pendolino train to be operated on the lines connecting the country’s major cities.

In 2011, Alstom secured a €665m contract from PKP Intercity to deliver 20 high-speed Pendolino trains.

The new train will offer shorter travel time between the northern and southern parts of the country linking cities, including Warsaw, Gdansk, Gdynia, Krakow, Katowice and Wroclaw.

"With this commissioning, Alstom confirms its expertise in the high-speed sector."

Alstom Transport Europe senior vice-president Andreas Knitter said: "With this commissioning, Alstom confirms its expertise in the high-speed sector and the success of one of the best-seller high-speed trains in the world, the Pendolino, which has been optimised to fit the needs of the country’s railway network."

With seven cars, the new train will be able to accommodate 402 people in three classes such as first, second and dedicated close compartments for families.

Features of the train include air conditioning, passenger information on LED screens, table and sockets for each passenger, high luggage capacity and bicycle storage.

In addition, it provides a wide restaurant area with bar and tables and universal accessibility, including an external elevator and a wheelchair-accessible toilet.

The agreement between PKP and Alstom also allows the manufacturer to maintain the fleet for up to 17 years and build a maintenance depot in Warsaw.

Equipped with the most high-tech servicing tools, the new 12,000m² maintenance depot currently employs 92 people and is expected to create 38 more jobs at full capacity.

Poland has received €74m support from the European Union for this high-speed project and an additional €10bn is expected to be allocated within the EU cohesion fund 2014-2020 for further developments, Alstom said.

Image: The new Pendolino train will be able to run at a speed of 250km/h carrying up to 402 passengers. Photo: courtesy of Alstom.