A new railway carrier, Podhalańska Kolej Regionalna (the Podhale regional railroad), will begin operation in Poland by the end of the year. The company will serve passengers in the south of the Małopolska Voivodeship, transporting people to the popular ski resort of Zakopane, the Małopolska Voivodeship administration said.
The new carrier will operate mainly on the route Nowy Targ - Zakopane. In the long term, it plans to launch operations on the Nowy Targ - Rabka-Zdroj route. The launch of a railway link between Nowy Targ and Zakopane will relieve traffic on the roads to this popular resort.
"Our priority is to improve the links to Podhale (a historical region in the south of the Małopolskie Voivodeship).We want the railway revolution to reach Podhale, and we will be able to reduce the traffic jams on the road to Zakopane by launching a transport link between Nowy Targ and Zakopane," the Małopolska province’s head Jacek Krupa said.
The leadership of the province plans to spend about PLN 4-5 million (about UAH 28-35 million) a year on subsidizing the new rail carrier.
The Koleje Małopolskie company already operates commuter trains in the Małopolskie Voivodeship. The company was founded in December 2013 and serves suburban routes in the north of the voivodship, near Krakow. Koleje Małopolskie’s rolling stock consists of 13 trains. The company carried 4.8 million passengers in 2016.
In total, 16 companies are licensed to provide passenger rail transport services in in Poland.
Polish railway operators transported 75.2 million passengers in the period of January-March 2017. Of these, regional and suburban carriers transported 87.6%. The PKP Intercity company, which operates high-speed and long-distance routes, accounted for about 12.4%.