Boost for New Silk Road: Poland getting closer to new railway bridge to Belarus
To tackle a bottleneck on the Belarusian border and boost container traffic on New Silk Road, Poland is planning to construct a new railway bridge over the Bug. PKP PLK, the country’s rail infrastructure manager, has chosen a contractor for the feasibility study of the planned project. Meanwhile, the exact timeframe of the construction works is still unknown.
PKP PLK concluded an agreement with BBF Sp. z o. o., the Poznań-based engineering company that provides a comprehensive analysis of the construction projects. The contractor will carry out two feasibility studies related to the development of the Terespol/Brest railway border crossing, which is vital for the container trains running between China and the European Union.
The first study is about the planned construction of a new bridge over the Bug, where the border between Poland and Belarus runs. Currently, there is only one single-track bridge that is not enough for the growing traffic on New Silk Road as many shippers and forwarders complain about the congestion on the Terespol/Brest border crossing due to infrastructure restrictions. The new bridge will resolve this issue. At the same time, PKP PLK has pointed out that the negotiations with Belarus must be carried out to launch the project on the ground.
Another feasibility study is dedicated to improving the rail infrastructure at the Terespol station. To increase the capacity of the railway border crossing, PKP PLK intends to deploy more tracks of both gauges (1,520 and 1,435 millimetres) at the mentioned station and upgrade the existing ones for handling longer, up to 1,050 metres, and heavier trains, with an axle load of up to 25 tonnes, freight trains. Inspection roads and sidewalks will be also built to facilitate customs and border operations. The expansion of the tracks is scheduled for 2022-2024.