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The Government Information Centre announced that the Council of Ministers had adopted a draft law amending the Railway Transport Act and certain other laws submitted by the Minister of Infrastructure. The draft presents solutions that will support the implementation of the Programme of Supplementing Local and Regional Railway Infrastructure, the so-called Railway Plus Programme.
Use of unexploited railway land
It is assumed that the railway areas that are currently underused will be restored for reuse for transport purposes, writes the Ministry of Infrastructure. It will be possible to transfer railway lines for free use by local governments. The liquidation of railway lines will also be limited, provided that the consent of the Minister of Infrastructure is obtained. The effect of these actions is to restore the reuse of railway infrastructure in closed areas or in places of liquidated railway infrastructure.
Changes relating to investments
The Ministry stated that new sources of financing, preparation and implementation of railway investments, including funds obtained from the issue of Treasury securities, had been introduced. The system of granting financial guarantees, which enable the commencement of financial procedures, will also be simplified. This will allow PKP PLK to undertake financial commitments for tasks planned in the National Railway Program.
Support for voivodeship self-governments in the organization of transport
According to the new regulations, provincial governments will be able to carry out railway transport further than to the nearest station abroad. This will help to avoid traffic exclusion in areas lacking good railway connections. The resources of the Railway Fund may be used to finance or co-finance the purchase, modernisation and repair of railway vehicles by the voivodships. It will also be possible to allocate funds not used by the voivodships in a given budget year for the implementation of tasks in the following years.
The new solutions will come into force 30 days after their publication in the Journal of Laws, with the exception of changes concerning financing from the Rail Fund. These will only take effect on 1 January 2021.