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The first half of February is the deadline for submitting bids in the tender for the design of a high-speed railway tunnel in Łódź. CPK (The Central Communication Port Company) has just announced a tender procedure. The tunnel will be an element of the railway line connecting Warsaw with Łódź and Wrocław, which is to be launched simultaneously with the Solidarity Transport Hub.
Łódź – 2 tunnels under the city center
On December 30, the PKP PLK company started drilling a railway tunnel for agglomeration traffic. Trains coming from Warsaw will enter the tunnel at the Łódź Fabryczna station. Next, two new railway stops will be built: Śródmieście and Polesie. Then the PLK tunnel will fork: north to the Łódź Żabieniec station and south – to the Łódź Kaliska station.
At the same time, the company Centralny Port Komunikacyjny is preparing the construction of a second railway tunnel under the center of Łódź. The CPK tunnel will start in the same place, i.e. at the Łódź Fabryczna station, and will be intended for long-distance trains, including high-speed trains. In Łódź, high-speed trains will only stop at Łódź Fabryczna Station. The exit of the tunnel to the surface will be near the Lublinek stop (south-west of Łódź Kaliska station) on the railway line No. 14. Then the route will lead to the west – towards Sieradz, Poznań and Wrocław.
– The CPK tunnel is a convenience for passengers. Thanks to it, long-distance traffic will be routed in Łódź separately, and agglomeration and regional traffic will be separated separately, as is the case in Warsaw on the cross-city line. Secondly, it will provide passengers with attractive travel times, eg from Łódź to the new airport in 30 minutes, to Warsaw 45 minutes, and from Poznań and Wrocław to Warsaw in less than 2 hours – says Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Marcin Horała, government plenipotentiary for CPK.
The tender concerns the selection of a contractor for the construction design and the necessary studies and administrative decisions for the tunnel, railway line and the so-called accompanying infrastructure.
– The CPK tunnel under the center of Łódź will be an element of the so-called spoke No. 9, i.e. a new railway route from Warsaw through the CPK, Łódź and Sieradz, and further towards Wrocław and Poznań. The planned line is sometimes called “Y-line” from its shape. Today’s tender is the first such advanced investment task on the planned investment, which is related to the implementation of a construction project – says Mikołaj Wild, president of the CPK company.
CPK assumes that for the most part – over a length of over four kilometers, i.e. on the section connecting Łódź Fabryczna with the railway line No. 14, in the west of Łódź, behind the Retkinia estate – the tunnel will be bored with an automatic TBM disc. It is the fastest available technology, which is used, among others on the construction site of the second metro line in Warsaw and the road tunnel in Świnoujście.
For the efficient implementation of the investment, an agreement is needed with the company PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe, which years ago was developing the concept of a fast line Warsaw – Łódź – Poznań – Wrocław (the so-called Y-line). That work was suspended in 2012, but some documentation (e.g. feasibility study and environmental decision), which was still completed by 2013, is ready.
– The CPK company intends to use the existing documentation of PKP PLK, which will save taxpayers’ time and money. I am counting on further cooperation on the part of CPK and PKP PLK and mutual coordination of railway investments. Together, we will build a coherent railway network for Poland and neighboring countries, says Deputy Minister Marcin Horała.
– The current environmental decision allows the construction of both an agglomeration tunnel and a tunnel for High Speed Railways. I am sure that despite some design changes introduced by PLK, soon we will precisely agree on the scope of work of PKP PLK and ours. Thanks to this, it will be possible to use the conducted environmental research to the maximum extent, and as a result, savings in public property in the tens of millions of zlotys – emphasizes Mikołaj Wild.
The tunnel construction time assumed in the CPK schedules is 2023-2027. The initially estimated cost of the entire railway section Warsaw – CPK – Łódź (including the tunnel) is approximately PLN 10 billion. The investment is part of the North Sea-Baltic Corridor within the TEN-T Core Network. The corridor passes through Finland, the Baltic States, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. It was established under the EU Regulation No. 1315/2013.