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Green Railway for residents of the Silesian Voivodeship

Soon, the trains of Koleje Śląskie (Silesian Railways) will be powered by traction energy from renewable sources. The local government carrier signed a letter of intent in this regard with PKP Energetyka – the company coordinating the implementation of the Green Railway Programme. The subject of the agreement is the purchase of energy generated by solar and wind power plants, as well as energy production for its own needs, using photovoltaic systems.

The railway is the most environmentally friendly and energy efficient means of transport. According to the plans of the Marshal's Office of the Silesian Voivodeship in Poland, in the coming years it will be the basis for the development of modern, low- and zero-emission mobility in the region. Currently, the vast majority of rolling stock used by the local government Koleje Śląskie are electrically powered vehicles. Still, nearly 75% of the traction energy used by them is generated at coal-fired power plants. That will soon change. On July 21, in the Marshal's Office of the Silesian Voivodeship, the representatives of Koleje Śląskie and PKP Energetyka signed a letter of intent, under which a long-term agreement will be concluded, specifying the principles of supplying the carrier with traction energy from renewable sources. Due to that, Koleje Śląskie will ultimately reduce its carbon footprint by more than 38 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. To compensate for this CO2 emissions, as many as approx. 6 million trees will have to be planted every year!

Thus, Koleje Śląskie has declared its participation in the Green Railway Programme – an initiative of the Polish railway industry gathered in the Centre for Railway Energy Efficiency (CEEK), which brings together entities responsible for approximately 95% of traction energy consumption in Poland. It is aimed at the transition of Poland's railway system to renewable energy sources – 50% in 2025, 85% in 2030, and ultimately – 100%. Earlier, other rail carriers also declared their participation in the programme. The letters of intent in this regard were signed by PKP Energetyka with DB Cargo Polska, CTL Logistics and Łódzka Kolej Aglomeracyjna (Łódź Agglomeration Railway).

“The agreement reached today is an extremely important step in the effort to decarbonise transportation in our region. We want the railway to be the key to developing green mobility in the Voivodeship. Therefore, we invest in modern rolling stock and infrastructure. However, in order to make railway transport even more environmentally friendly, it should use green energy from renewable sources to the greatest extent possible,” says Jakub Chełstowski, the Marshall of the Silesian Voivodeship. “The inclusion of Koleje Śląskie into the Green Railway Programme perfectly complies with the Voivodeship Development Strategy «Zielone Śląskie 2030». We want to not only reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but also to develop renewable energy sources in the region,” emphasises the Marshal.

“Today, together we are demonstrating that the future of the planet and the concern for climate are the priorities for our business. We want PKP Energetyka to supply us with energy from renewable sources in the near future. This will make the railway transport in our region even greener. Therefore, I have good news for our passengers – soon you will be able to travel on trains powered by solar and wind energy,” says Patryk Świrski, the acting president of Koleje Śląskie.

“We have an ambitious and long-term plan for the railway transport in Poland. It is the Green Railway Programme, which is a real opportunity to change the energy mix in the Polish railway system. This is confirmed by yet another declaration of accession to this Programme made by a passenger carrier, known for its purchases of energy-efficient and modern electric rolling stock. And our mission is to support the development of the Polish railways. I believe that owing to the cooperation with PKP Energetyka, Koleje Śląskie will reduce its carbon footprint and thus attract new passengers who are more and more often guided by ecological considerations in their everyday choices,” emphasises Leszek Hołda, member of the management board of PKP Energetyka.

Apart from the arrangements concerning the Green Railway Programme, the letter of intent signed today also contains a declaration of cooperation between Koleje Śląskie and PKP Energetyka concerning the construction of photovoltaic systems on the roofs of buildings belonging to the carrier. We are talking about at least three locations in the vicinity of the company's registered office in Katowice at ul. Raciborska (office, warehouse and technical facilities). PKP Energetyka will share with Koleje Śląskie its knowledge and experience gained during the implementation of similar projects. Each of the photovoltaic systems will have a capacity not exceeding 50 kW, and the energy they produce will be used to power the carrier's infrastructure. This will reduce its carbon footprint and its energy intake from the grid.

Last modified: 7/29/2021