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PKP buys Alstrom Pendolino trains for € 665 million


PennBoy 76 | 2,438    
31 May 2011  #1
The 20 new Pendolino trains which are capable of reaching speeds of up to 250k/h will be traveling at around 160k/h since railways in Poland aren't suited for higher speeds. Critics say this purchase was pointless, PKP could have bought 60 not 20 trains for that price (reaching 160/180k/h).

rail.co/2011/05/31/alstom-to-supply-20-new-pendolino-trains-for-pkp-intercity/



Sebastian 6 | 108    
1 Jun 2011  #2
Cool trains! It may seem pointless, but its a good future investment. When Poland does have high speed rail in the future, they will already have the fast trains that can reach 250 kmh. If they were to buy 60 slow trains, they would be pointless once the high speed tracks are built.
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,438    
1 Jun 2011  #3
Cool trains! It may seem pointless, but its a good future investment.

Yea, hopefully in 10 years Poland with have the tracks to exploit their full potential. I know the EU must be happy a European company got the deal.
delphiandomine 85 | 17,646    
1 Jun 2011  #4
Something that's worth pointing out - with the Pendolino trains, they can tilt around corners - so it might be possible to increase the track speed without much work at all.
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,438    
1 Jun 2011  #5
they can tilt around corners

cool feature.
Obama wants a high speed rail line here in the states also. Great idea population is growing fast, there are so many traffic jams, and airports and more and more crowded.

"That’s why Vice President Biden traveled to Philadelphia today to announce a comprehensive plan to help the nation reach President Obama’s goal of giving 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years. The President is proposing to invest $53 billion over the next six years to continue construction of a national high-speed and intercity passenger rail network, which will create tens of thousands of private-sector jobs while helping to lay a new foundation for our economy."
Monia    
1 Jun 2011  #6
they would be pointless once the high speed tracks are built.

Thats right , and they have started rebuilding train tracks already.
Harry    
1 Jun 2011  #7
cool feature.

Sadly not one that PKP thought was worth bothering with.

Personally I'd have said that 60 trains capable of 180km/hr would have been a far better investment but I can see why PKP went for the headline grabbing option instead.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,389    
1 Jun 2011  #8
Thats right , and they have started rebuilding train tracks already.

Quite right. new track in exactly the same place as the old track.

Poland needs new direct routes. If road building is anything to go by these new trains will be out of date by the time the track is finished.
sobieski 107 | 2,129    
18 Oct 2012  #9
Merged: Pendolino trains vs investing in commuter trains

I have mixed feelings about this. I thing they should invest much more in upgrading commuter trains here. Upgrading commuter stations and railway stops. There after all are the everyday trains which bring everyday people to work, to school...

Sure they are not profitable, but they do not have to be. They never will be. They fulfill an essential social function.They allow the big city agglomerations to breathe.

By the way KM, WKD, and SKM are really doing an effort here in Warsaw in that direction. Pendolino trains are for rich tourists.
It would be much better to speed up the track upgrade throughout the country.
Maybe I am wrong in this. But in my view public transport has to be just that...public. And cost-covering as much as possible.

Jan Kowalski does not care about these fancy trains,,,mainly to be used by tourists and businessmen.
Jan Kowalski lives in Piaseczno and commutes every day into Warszawa Śrómieście. Just as thousands of everybody people commute to everyday life, study, work.

His wife is going to work in the city, his kids to school and afterwards to their crap rock bands and ballet school. (Mine for for sure)

He does not care *** for these fancy trains of which he reads in the papers. Sure he takes a TLK once per year with his family from Piaseczno to the seaside, and copes with the overflooding and the delays.

But what for him matters is that the SKM from Piaseczno - his everyday, modest but essential train - is punctual (never), comfortable (a sardine in tin has better conditions), frequent (not really), safe in the evening (not always).

And that Piaseczno train station would look as station....

And the commuter trains are the heart of this country - here in Warsaw SKM, WKD, KM. They make this city of Warsaw breath. (and also Poznań, Wroclaw etc)

For sure it is not sexy to invest in local rail transport - it does not make good photos :)
But it is the backbone of local society
welshguyinpola 23 | 463    
18 Oct 2012  #10
Something that's worth pointing out - with the Pendolino trains, they can tilt around corners - so it might be possible to increase the track speed without much work at all.

Unfortunately PKP didnt opt for this feature as written in the above article:

"The trainsets of 7 cars each will be based on Alstom's standard New Pendolino platform. In line with the customer's specifications, they will not integrate the tilting system".
delphiandomine 85 | 17,646    
19 Oct 2012  #11
"The trainsets of 7 cars each will be based on Alstom's standard New Pendolino platform. In line with the customer's specifications, they will not integrate the tilting system".

Braindead stupidity to say the least. The Pendolino's only attractive feature is the tilt - apart from that, they're cramped, horrible trains.
jon357 64 | 14,382    
31 May 2014  #12
The Pendolino's only attractive feature is the tilt - apart from that, they're cramped, horrible trains.

They weren't popular in the UK when they were tried out - the tilt was most definitely not an attractive feature for the passengers.

But that's by the by - at the moment PiS are getting all hot and bothered about the purchase.

For those who don't read Polish, the PiSuarzy are trying to trigger a government commission about the purchase, criticising just about every aspect of the purchase and also saying it has a potentially negative impact on the economy, jobs etc.

A cynic might say it has something to do with last year's cut in EU subsidy, that or trying to distract from wider issues.
Harry    
31 May 2014  #13
Looks like PKP have realised they bought the wrong trains and now want to cancel the deal. Cunningly they are now fining Alstom half a million euro per month for late delivery of certification, but Alstom can't deliver that certification because PKP doesn't have the tracks needed in order to do the tests needed before the certification can be issued.

poland-today.pl/blog/business-review-no-035-feature-polish-pkp-intercity-may-back-out-of-high-speed-train-deal/
JollyRomek 7 | 481    
6 Jun 2015  #14
Personally I'd have said that 60 trains capable of 180km/hr would have been a far better investment but I can see why PKP went for the headline grabbing option instead.

Specially now that PESA, an actual Polish company, has successfully tested their "ED161 Dart" train with speeds of up to 200 km/h . PKP ordered 20 of those and the first trains will go into service in December.

lodzpost.com/polishnews/better-pendolino-polish-train-reached-speed-200-km-h/

So far PESA has been known in Poland for it's "PESA Swing trams" which run in most larger Polish cities.

One has to wonder whether or not PKP knew about the PESA plans at the time of signing the contract with Alstom. Surely, a high speed train is not something you just start building. It takes of years of planning too.
teargas - | 72    
6 Jun 2015  #15
200km/h in test conditions is easy to achieve, but as the article notes, 160km/h will be the normal speed in service. The problems occur when trying to get trains to run at above 200km/h in normal service. PESA doesn't have the know-how or the experience to build such trains, while the Pendolino is capable of reaching 250km/h in normal service.
JollyRomek 7 | 481    
6 Jun 2015  #16
Good point @ teargas, but from what I understand the Pendolino also only travels at 160 km/h. Poland does not have the infrastructure for high speed trains yet so it seems a bit pointless to buy trains that could in theory travel at 250 km/h but are restricted to 160 km/h.

With regards to the infrastructure it will take at least another 10 years for Poland to have a track network that would justify the purchase of high speed trains. When I first walked over a bridge at the construction site of the tracks leading from the "new" station in Lodz - Lodz Fabryczna, literally nothing has changed. 1 1/2/ years later, when I walk over that bridge today and look down, it looks the same. You see trucks going in and out of the site but nothing ever changes.

By the time Poland will have a proper infrastructure for high speed trains, the new Pendolino trains will be outdated. This time could have been spend working with PESA to develop a train that could potentially reach 250 km/h or faster in normal service.
teargas - | 72    
6 Jun 2015  #17
No, they're already at 200km/h on the CMK. The CMK was originally built and designed for 250km/h, so it's just a matter of upgrading the physical infrastructure to allow it. It should happen within the next few years.

From what I understand of train construction, there's little point in developing a high speed train over 200km/h as it consumes vast amounts of money without much of a market. Are you familiar with the Fyra farce in the Netherlands? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V250_%28train%29

Essentially, PESA did the right thing by developing a train that will run at 160km/h in normal service. There's huge demand throughout Europe for such trains, not only in Poland. But they're also quite easy to build and develop, whereas the farce of the V250 and the AGV shows that high speed trains are much more difficult to deal with. Even Siemens is having huge problems with getting the Velaro into service with Eurostar and Deutsche Bahn.

Pendolinos are also a proven and mature technology, which helps. PKP Intercity would be criticised to hell if they spent years working with PESA on a high speed train that wasn't reliable, and given the low price paid for the Pendolinos, I think it was a wise move.
bullfrog 6 | 603    
6 Jun 2015  #18
When you consider shape of the country , terrain (mostly flat, with mountains limited to the south). distances between the main cities (300 to 500 km), Poland is ideally configured for building a high speed train network. A real pity it has not been done yet!
JollyRomek 7 | 481    
6 Jun 2015  #19
The CMK

I may be mistaken but the CKM only makes up a stretch of about 300 kilometers of track, no?

I find that a tiny bit too little to justify investment in foreign trains if a local company is capable of delivering trains that would be sufficient for the majority of the current network. Specially when thinking about that progress on upgrading the existing tracks or building new tracks is going rather slow.

Thanks for the link to the Fyra story. No, I was not aware. Interesting though that Belgium did not deem them safe to travel on Belgian railtracks yet they are ok for Italian standards? Did I understand that correctly?
jon357 64 | 14,382    
7 Jun 2015  #20
When you consider shape of the country , terrain (mostly flat, with mountains limited to the south). distances between the main cities (300 to 500 km), Poland is ideally configured for building a high speed train network. A real pity it has not been done yet!

Agreed. Remember though that during the great age of railway building, Poland was divided among three empires and even now, railway connections reflect the former borders. Changing that would require far less investment than building motorways but unfortunately that's how the government (and people) want to spend the money.

A good start would be properly maintaining existing tracks, many of which have low speed limits due to their condition as well as (this has actually started) regime tabling services to reflect the times that people are most likely to want to use a train.

The pendolinos are good, however they are in some ways a Potemkin village - the reality of the rest of the network is that it needs massive infrastructure funding to bring what they've already got to an acceptable standard.
pweeg    
7 Jun 2015  #21
Jon
Tilting trains are in operation in the UK now. London Liverpool with Virgin, for instance. I used it a few times and the tilting is no problem.

The EU is forcing the upgrade of the railways onto Poland, they threaten to fine the government if they switched the money from trains to roads.
jon357 64 | 14,382    
7 Jun 2015  #22
Really? Learn something new every day etc! I'm no great fan of Virgin Trains (their rolling stock sems over-specified among other issues)). I havn't been on the Pendolino yet (when we went to Wroclaw last weekend, flying on Eurolot was so close in price yet so much quicker that we did that instead) and really hope that in Poland there isn't the same move towards over-specification.

I can see why people are so pleased to get the Pendolino after years of under-investment, however I do actually like the older trains where you can open a window and which have nicer dining cars.

I suspect that the straightness of the line and the speed round the bends has a great effect on the comfort.
kpc21 1 | 763    
7 Jun 2015  #23
Agreed. Remember though that during the great age of railway building, Poland was divided among three empires and even now, railway connections reflect the former borders. Changing that would require far less investment than building motorways but unfortunately that's how the government (and people) want to spend the money.

Polish people are crazy about cars, like the western Europeans and the Americans where in the second half of the previous century. A car is in Poland still somethig that determines the social status. It's because cars became avaliable for almost everyone in Poland not earlier than in the 90's, so this "car boom" still lasts here.

Giving more money for the railway and less money for the roads would be, therefore, not popular. So the politicians don't see an reason why they should invest much in the railway.

Fortunately it's starting to change, and one of examples is this purchase of Pendolino trains, and now this purchase of modern (even though slower) trains from Pesa and Stadler. Or the renovation of tracks from Warsaw to Gdańsk as a continuation of the CMK (which was built in the 70's, when Edward Gierek was the head of the country - it was the time when it was invested at most during the communist times). Also it's just now, when the main long-distance train operator really started to advertise itself in the media, pointing out that trains are often better than cars.
Polsyr 6 | 771    
7 Jun 2015  #24
Agree with kpc21 about people seeing cars as a status symbol. This is indeed a problem because many people want to drive their own cars regardless of whether it makes sense or not. For me it never makes sense to drive from Warsaw to Krakow or Szczecin for a meeting and back. I feel both safer and more comfortable if I take a train or even a bus.
Harry    
9 Nov 2015  #25
edited, moved post

- they bought Pierdolino (sure not without "benefits") when PESA had a prototype of a similar train.

You mean they decided to go with a well-tried and well-proven train which was faster and better than the entirely untried and untested train? What silly people. But not quite as silly as you: you are claiming that a train which didn't even exist when the PKP train tender was held should have won that tender. That's more than silly, that's plain stupid.

As for your "(sure not without "benefits")" claim, got a source for that? Or are we back into your fantasy world yet again?
G (undercover)    
9 Nov 2015  #26
you've just committed a crime.

LOL !

Any source?

Sienkiewicz, a member of PO "government".

You mean they decided to go with a well-tried and well-proven train which was faster and better than the entirely untried and untested train? What silly people.

Of course not silly. Much more likely just corrupted. Watches worth 30k don't fall from the skies.
Harry    
9 Nov 2015  #27
LOL !

Libel is a crime as well as a civil matter in Poland.

Sienkiewicz, a member of PO "government".

Care to point out a statement by him in which he ordered the ABW to burn the guardbox at the Russian embassy? Or are we yet again back in your fantasy world?

Of course not silly. Much more likely just corrupted.

Would you like to explain how a train which was announced in late 2013, i.e. the PESA Dart, can win a tender process which was started in 2008 and completed in 2010? Although I suppose it would have been pretty useful for the train in question to be capable of time travel, it would certainly need to be capable of travelling backwards in time, given that it can only move forwards at 80% of the minimum speed required by the tender which was announced more than five years before the prototype of the train was announced.
delphiandomine 85 | 17,646    
9 Nov 2015  #28
You mean they decided to go with a well-tried and well-proven train which was faster and better than the entirely untried and untested train? What silly people.

From what I gather from reading the various industry publications on the matter, PESA had no experience of building such a train in the real world. Their fastest product is the PESA Dart, which will enter service with a 160km/h top speed. I'm pretty sure PESA could have put together something that would operate at 200km/h, but going from 200km/h to 250km/h (as the tender required) is a huge, huge jump in railway engineering terms.

I'm not a fan of the Pendolino, but from an operating and passenger point of view, they've been a success. Compare the successful introduction of the Pendolino vs the utter disaster that was the Dutch/Belgian Fyra, for instance. If PESA had tried to build a comparable train, then it would've been a disaster. Yes, PESA will gain a lot of experience with the Dart, and it wouldn't surprise me if they improve the Dart to operate at 200km/h in time. But they're a long, long way away from producing a viable 250km/h product, and PESA wisely built the Dart to be functional and reliable at 160km/h.
G (undercover)    
10 Nov 2015  #29
Libel is a crime as well as a civil matter in Poland.

So just go and report that, be my guest.

Care to point out a statement by him in which he ordered the ABW to burn the guardbox at the Russian embassy?

My wrong, that was at the Wojtunik (head of CBA) and Bieńkowska tape:
wiadomosci.wp.pl/kat,1342,title,Sienkiewicz-kazal-podpalic-budke-przed-ambasada-Rosji-Szef-CBA-bzdura-Gmyz-jedzie-do-prokuratury,wid,17545675,wiadomosc.html
polskieradio.pl/5/3/Artykul/1444826,Afera-ze-spalona-budka-straznicza-prze d-ambasada-Rosji

From what I gather from reading the various industry publications on the matter, PESA had no experience of building such a train in the real world.

Do you think TGV fall out of the sky ? France invested a damn load of public money in that project - to build up their own industry, that's what governments that care about national interests do. Why didn't they go for "well-proven" Japanese trains ? Japan has been operating high-speed trains since early 60's. Germany and France do not want competition, they want Poland to be the market for their products and reservoir of cheap labor, that's why they support and praise governments that guarantee no change and anyone who "dares" to do anything about it is labeled as "xenophobic", "anti-semitic", "homophobic" and so on. The "article" by Ekke guy is just a part of it. Ever heard about PO being called "homophobic" ? While in fact they don't differ much from PiS on that matter. What have they done for "gays" over the last 8 years ? Not much I think but they are still "European", "responsible" and so on. Why ? Because they do things like ordering Pierdolino. That's all. It's not about "European values" or anything like that, it's all about the money.

Kali's mentality

Pawi, get a life.
Levi 13 | 451    
10 Nov 2015  #30
"Germany and France do not want competition, they want Poland to be the market for their products and reservoir of cheap labor, that's why they support and praise governments that guarantee no change and anyone who "dares" to do anything about it is labeled as "xenophobic", "anti-semitic", "homophobic" and so on."

BINGO!!!!!

The Political Correctness, the " Homophobic" "Xenophobic" and etc accusations are the way that West Europe found to try to enslave Poland and make it a puppet nation.

Hopefully the Poles woke up!

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