Caught short…



Temple to central planning, CMK railway viaduct at Baranow.
Photo Tomasz Kuran, Wikipedia Commons.

(Click photograph to see original and for details of licensing.)

PKP S.A., the Polish State Railways holding company, is running short of money. Some experts reckon that the shortfall this year will exceed 2,000,000,000 PLN. The revenue side of the 2009 budget includes 683 million PLN, from the sale of a minority stake in PKP InterCity; 800 million PLN from the privatisation of PKP Cargo, and 620 million PLM from the sale of key development sites. None of these transactions are now likely to take place in 2009.

Meanwhile, PKP Cargo is bringing forward a deficit of some 500 million PLN from 2005, Revenues earned by PKP PLK from freight carryings are sharply down. Finance Minister, Jacek Rostocki, is demanding the repayment of 2 billion PLN of outstanding government loans. Commercial debt repayments and maturing bonds are likely to cost the group some 900 million PLN in 2010 and 1.7 million in 2011.

The combined effects of the global crisis and Rostocki’s determination to slash government support of new infrastructure projects will mean that, of the planned 700 million PLN infrastructure investments already planned and committed, less than a half will actually go ahead. Those in receipt of EU funding will receive top priority. Other projects, those to be financed from ‘own funds’, or those which were dependent on government support, will either be cancelled, or will only go ahead in a truncated form. In those cases where contracts have already been signed, PKP will become liable for compensation payments totalling millions of PLN.

The picture at the head of this article shows the pillars for a bridge started in the 1970s. It was to carry the A2, Berlin – Moscow motorway which was to be completed in time for the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The location is about 12 km North East of Zyrardow. Here the motorway was to cross the northern section of the North- – South trunk railway, Centralna Magistralia Kolejowa, which was never completed. Click here for more photographs.

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