Gov't adopts bill opening passenger rail market to EU operators

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

The Polish government adopted a draft law on Tuesday that opens the passenger rail services market to operators from other EU countries, the Government Information Centre (CIR) has announced.

A CIR press release stated that opening the passenger rail market to other EU players would make rail services in Poland more competitive. The bill, prepared by the Ministry of Infrastructure, amends existing laws on rail transport, as well as other legislation, bringing rail rules in line with EU law.

The CIR stated that the proposed changes enhance the independence and impartiality of rail infrastructure management companies such as PKP Polish Railways. They also ensure transparency of financial flows and settlement between infrastructure management companies and rail operators by proposing a ban on mutual loan sharing between the management companies and rail operators, among other measures. They are also intended to improve the effectiveness and transparency of sharing infrastructure thanks to the introduction of the possibility to conduct negotiations on fees for access to rail infrastructure, among other steps.

The CIR said the adopted bill strengthens the powers of the president of the Office of Rail Transport (UTK) as he will gain the possibility to request information from management companies on missing rail infrastructure capacity and supervision over negotiations related to fees for infrastructure access.

The press release noted that the new solutions should come into force two months after being published in the Journal of Laws, with the exception of some provisions, which will become binding on the day after publication.