No trains at the airport



The unfinished station at Warsaw Okecie Airport.

Photo © Alina Gajdamowicz / Agencja Gazeta

(Click to see photograph in original context.)

Polish State Railways’ infrastructure company, PKP PLK, has just announced a tender for the construction of an 1.2 km underground link connecting the Warsaw Okecie Airport to the Warsaw – Radom line near Sluzewiec Station.

This is yet another Polish flagship railway construction project that is running embarrassingly late. The original target date for the completion of the rail link was 2008/9. Now it appears that, even if the rail link is completed by the new target date of Q2 2011, the rolling stock to operate the new service will not be ready on time until Q4 2011 at the earliest. As yet Szybka Kolej Miejska (SKM), Warsaw City Hall’s chosen operator for the new rail link has not yet announced a tender for the rolling stock.

All construction work at the airport seems to be jinxed. The new Terminal 2 was supposed to be completed in mid 2005. In fact, it was opened in stages from the end of 2006 through to 2008. Is this why one of the service roads at the airport has been officially designated ul. Gordona Bennetta?

Leszek Walczak, SKM’s is not worried about not having his trains ready on time. Based on PKP PLK performance elsewhere and factoring in the Okecie Airport jinx he reckons that he can hold the tender process for the 13 new train sets in June this year and still have the trains delivered before the new link is commissioned!

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