Province bosses confirm PR split

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Super power on short haul PR working. Heavy freight Co’Co’ ET22-1178 with two car double deck set at Ostrow Mazowiecki on 26.8.2011. Photo BTWT.

Poland’s local services operator, Przewozy Regionalne (PR), must be split up into a number of smaller companies – this was the majority view at a meeting of all the CEOs of Poland’s provinces during a discussion that took place on Thurday 28 October. The CEOs feel that the current set up whereby PR currently is owned by 16 provincial governments, gives them little effective say in how PR is run.

Splitting up PR is not exactly a new idea. In 2005, when PR was still part of the PKP Group a study group led by Jan Rokita the then chairman of Poland’s ruling party, Platforma Obywatelska (Civic Platform), proposed splitting the company into 5. Subsequently, Adam Struzik, the Chief Executive of Mazowsze province, suggested that a three way split would create companies that would be small enough to manage effectively, yet large enough to generate economies of scale and operate on well-defined traffic corridors.

Recently, the 16 local authority owners have formed 4 ad hoc syndicates for the purpose of EU-assisted rolling stock purchases. Progress was achieved – it is much easier for 4 or 5 people to agree than 16 – and the experience added new impetus to the proposed split. On 31 October, Poland’s rail minister, Andrzej Massel, in an interview with Rzeczpospolita expressed himself in favour of a split. It looks as if the train is rolling.

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