Lodz to host Poland’s first TBM railway tunnel 03 May 2018

Jaroslaw Adamowski for TunnelTalk from Warsaw

In a bid to complete the first TBM excavated railway tunnel in the country, state-owned railway operator PKP PLK SA has commissioned a new project in Lodz in central Poland. The tunnel is to be excavated beneath the city to connect three major railway stations in Lodz.

Under the plan, 7.5km of underground railway infrastructure is to be constructed under a design-build project with a net worth of PLN 1.293 billion (€309 million). The investment is to be completed by 2022.

Planned entrance into one of the new underground stations
Planned entrance into one of the new underground stations

Last December (2017), a consortium of local construction companies Energopol-Szczecin and PBDiM Minsk Mazowiecki, signed a contract with PKP PLK. The tender submitted by the consortium was selected by the project committee based on three weighed criteria: the offered price, which was responsible for 60% of the available points; the proposed time schedule of the project, representing 25% of the points; and the offered maintenance warranty terms, responsible for the remaining 15% of the points. All six bidders who presented proposals for the project declared they would carry out the construction within a four-year period, and offered a six-year warranty for maintenance of the tunnel once completed.

The five competing bidders and their tender prices were:

  • a consortium of Astaldi (Italy) and Torpol (Poland) - PLN 1.356 billion (€324 million) net;
  • Dogus Instaat ve Ticaret (Turkey) - PLN 1.7 billion (€406 million ) net;
  • a consortium of Gulermak Agir Sanayi Insaat ve Taahhut (Turkey) and Mosty Lodz (Poland) - PLN 1.105 billion (€264 million) net;
  • Impresa Pizzarotti (Italy) - PLN 1.745 billion (€417 million) net; and
  • Polish construction company IDS-Bud for a bid of PLN 1.46 billion (€349 million) net

The six bids were shorted listed to two: the eventual winning bid by Energopol-Szczecin and PBDiM Minsk Mazowiecki, and the offer submitted by Astaldi/Torpol.

The new rail system will host two underground stations
The new rail system will host two underground stations

Spokesperson Karol Jakubowski for PKP PLK SA explained that the tunnel will be Poland’s first railway tunnel developed by TBM technology. “Of the total 7.5km of underground works, the TBM is planned to complete a 3km long single tube, double track tunnel,” said Jakubowski. “Another four single-track tunnels with a total of about 4.5km will be completed using open face excavation and there will be a 300m section of open-cut construction.”

"The start of the tunnel at the Lodz Fabryczna station will be at a depth of 14.5m and the end of the tunnel, located at the Lodz Kaliska and Lodz Zabieniec stations, will be about 7.3m deep. At its deepest point, the tunnel will be about 22.3m deep."

"Once constructed, the main tunnel of about 3km, will become the longest railway tunnel in Poland,” said Jakubowski. “Its length will exceed that of another Lodz-based tunnel which leads to the underground Lodz Fabryczna railway station."

Poland’s capital Warsaw hosts a railway tunnel of some 2.31km, while the country’s largest tunnel outside urban areas is located on the Wałbrzych-Kłodzko route, and has a length of 1.601km, according to Jakubowski.

The construction work on the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of December 2021, allowing the tunnel to be opened for rail traffic in early 2020.

"This construction will be the first of its kind,” said Jakubowski. “It will be the first railway tunnel in Poland to be developed using mechanical TBM excavation. To date, TBM tunnels in Poland include the tunnel that runs under the Vistula River in Warsaw which is used to transfer sewage to the Czajka wastewater treatment plant, the road tunnel in Gdańsk also under the Vistula River, and the tunnels that are part of the central section of the second subway line in Warsaw.”

Official signing between PKP and the consortium
Official signing between PKP and the consortium

The tunnel project in Lodz is part of the ongoing efforts to boost the efficiency of railway transport in the country’s central region. "The project will contribute to establishing an efficient system of national interregional connections and will host two passenger stations that will ensure comfortable commute to the city center. It will increase the attractiveness of Lodz as a tourist and business destination, and also facilitate the daily commute to work and school for the region’s citizens," said Jakubowski.

Headquartered in Warsaw, PKP PLK SA manages a railway network with a total length of 18,513km across the country, according to data from the state-owned company. Last year, the company signed deals for new infrastructure investments with a total net value of PLN 19 billion (€4.54 billion), according to figures from the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction.

With a population of slightly less than 700,000 inhabitants, Lodz is the third most populated city in Poland, after Warsaw and Krakow. Lodz is also the capital of the central Lodzkie region.

The investment will be supported by the infrastructure funds that Poland is to obtain from the European Union under the Infrastructure and Environment operational program for the years 2014 to 2020.


Add your comment

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and comments. You share in the wider tunnelling community, so please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language professional.
In case of an error submitting Feedback, copy and send the text to Feedback@TunnelTalk.com
Name :

Date :

Email :

Phone No :

   Security Image Refresh
Enter the security code :
No spaces, case-sensitive