Posts Tagged ‘PKP’

PKP PLK finance chief forced out

Friday, 17 July 2009

Rynek Kolejowy reports that Polish State Railways Infrastructure Company, PKP PLK, finance and economics director Bogdan Szafranski has resigned. Details are sketchy but it seems likely that Szafranski was forced out because he failed to institute a programme to stem mounting losses.

PKP PLK boss, Zbigniew Szafranski, warned repeatedly that because of PLK’s falling revenues – particularly from PKP Cargo – PKP PLK was accumulating a huge loss and would need a state bailout to avoid massive cutbacks of the railway infrastructure. With Finance Minister Jacek Rostocki clamping down on Government expenditure, the PKP PLK finance chief’s departure would seem to herald another round of railway closures to be just round the corner.

Clean up the climate!

Friday, 24 April 2009

odkurz

‘Odkurz Klimat’ – a viral marketing campaign

(Click picture to see animation and link to campaign.)

PKP are one of the sponsors of a viral marketing campaign, OdkurzKlimat.PL – walcz z korkami. (Fight the traffic jams – clean up the climate.) The objective is to get people to fill in the simple form and a link wings its way to your selected friend. If the link is clicked a short animation appears with the message, “Clean up the climate. Leave your car in the car park and use public transport.”

Trains vs. cars

External costs – noise, pollution, space requirements, road maintenance, accidents:
• trains – 19 euro/km
• cars – 88 euro/km

Contribution to EU CO2 emissions:
• trains – 1%
• cars – 72%

Energy consumption in EU due to:
• trains – 2%
• cars – 82%

capacity of 1 metre of track:
• trains – 9000 people/hr
• cars – 200 people/hr

(statistics from PKP’s press release)

It may not be the most imaginative viral marketing campaign ever, but it seems that for the first time PKP is recognising the power of the Internet. It certainly is a step in the right direction. Dyspozytor filled in the name of fellow blogger Michael Dembinski who had just posted an article on W-wa Jeziorki about being stuck in several contra flow traffic jams on the Warsaw – Torun road. In the end a 220 km trip took him 4 hours. Mike, why did you not go by train? You could have done the whole journey in 3 hours and 20 minutes, and read the papers or worked on your laptop.

Well Played PLK!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Lodz Fabryczna Station (photo MarcinK on Skyscrapercity.com, click pic for more pictures of Lodz)

Unlike Mike, who publishes the W-wa Jeziorki blog, I used to like the old style trains which plied from Lodz to Warsaw. True the 100 km journey did take 2 hours 15 minutes, but the nicely refurbished compartment coaches were clean comfortable. Rush hours excluded, they offered a pleasant environment for working or reading for pleasure, and if bored one could always engage the guard or one’s fellow passengers in a conversation about the shortcomings of PKP’s management.

However, since PKP noticed that the Warsaw – Lodz service (one of their most profitable) was loosing passengers fast to the rival coach operators, things have not been the same. For the last two years, contractors have been rebuilding the railway. They have not just been relaying track, but also they’ve been draining the trackbed, rebuilding bridges, digging subways, putting up noise barriers and constructing proper platforms. While all this has been going on the train journey lengthened by another hour. To make passengers feel really miserable, brand new shining emus were introduced without compartments, but with back-breaking seats.

Today’s journey did not start well. My taxi driver asked me where I was going and, when I told him that I was going to Warsaw, he told me that I would be lucky to get there at all. A train crash had occured further up the line and all trains were being diverted. He then chose a route which allowed me ample time to study the worst traffic jams in Lodz and ensured that I would miss my train. Unbidden he offered me the information that his rate for going to Warsaw was 250 dollars. I wondered whether I look like the sort of person who if he has a spare 250 dollars in his pocket looks for a taxi driver who can relieve him of the burden?

At the station, the lady behind the ticket desk positively beamed. “There’s been a big train crash and all Warsaw trains are being diverted.” “So how long do you think the journey may take.” “We can’t be sure, apparently one Lodz train left Warsaw this morning and nobody has seen it since.” She cheered me up by telling me that the train that I had just mised hadn’t in fact run. She asked me for 32 zloty for my fare. I told her that yesterday the fare from Warsaw had been 26 zloty and she told me that today was the first day of the new timetable which shortened the journey time to just over 90 minutes.

After making some enquiries I discovered that the next train would leave in an hour. Arming myself with a toasted sandwich and a 1.5 lire bottle of mineral water, I was please to discover that the train would consist of some old fashioned compartment stock which already waiting on platform 2 track 3. (Confusingly for Brits the Poles number both their platforms and tracks.) A TV were waiting like vultures to pounce on the passengers who were travelling on the train from Warsaw. As the hour passed and the train never arrived they moved on to doing short vox pop interviews with passengers boarding the Warsaw train. I grabed the producer and she recorded me doing a little rant about the seating in the new emus.

The guard was not a happy bunny, when I asked him when he thought that we will be in Warsaw, he answered by grumbling that he should have been home over an hour ago. The new tracks are smoother than before but the welding of the rail had not been done to such close tolerancres as in the UK. I slept. When I awoke, we were on the outskirts Warsaw. The blockage had been cleared, we had only lost 20 minutes. Now, when was the last time that you heard of a case in the UK where after a major train crash the line is back in service after barely 12 hours? Well played, PLK – the Polish rail way infrastructure company.

I reached Warsaw in time for a key meeting to brief an important member of the business community about the crisis facing Wolsztyn. He offered to support our lobbying campaign. Tomorrow we will review the Wolsztyn situation and discuss what action BTWT readers can take.

Never let your left hand know…

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Pt47-106 during ‘cosmetic restoration’ at Wolsztyn

While PKP Nieruchomosci, the Polish State Railways property company, is getting ready to auction its railway relics, Fundacja Era Parowozow, the foundation set up by PKP Cargo, the Polish State Railways freight and motive power company, is getting ready to hold a public collection and aution at the Wolsztyn Steam Parade on May 3rd to preserve items of railway heritage.

As we have already revealed, if the auction plan goes ahead without any changes, many unique items of railway rolling stock will be sacrificied to the scrap merchant’s torch. Meanwhile, PKP Cargo’s special foundation, which is paying its trustees many thousands of zloty ‘consultancy fees’, is collecting money from members of the public to ‘paint and polyfilla’ worn out locomotives at Wolsztyn. Last year’s appeal brought in just under 2,000 zloty.

It’s time that PKP main holding company got its act together and, together with representatives of Poland’s railway heritage societies, drew up a ‘core list’ of historic items which must be saved at all costs. Granted that PKP couldn’t afford to restore everything on such a list, certain items could be to made available to railway societies or bona fide railway museums on a licence or loan basis on the condition that they were well looked after.

PKP car boot sale of locomotives?

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

The open air museum of steam locomotives and vintage rolling stock at Karsznice was the initiative of the former General Manager of the Karsznice Workshops. The Mayor of Zdunska Wola would like to take over the collection, but if PKP Estate Company has its way locomotives like Ty246-22 will be sold to the highest bidder.

Polish railway enthusiasts are up in arms about PKP Estate Comany’s plans to auction the vast collection of vintage locomotives and rolling stock gathered in different parts of the country. “The only people who can afford market prices are scrap merchants,” said the chairman of one of Poland’s leading railway societies.

Watch this space.