The Track Revolution transforms Szczecin

Marta Kufel

Marta Kufel

The Track Revolution transforms Szczecin

Increasing the use of low-emission urban transport and improvements in the technical condition of tram routes are the main objectives of the project called “Redevelopment of tramway tracks in Szczecin - Stage II”.

Szczecin boasts one of the most developed tramway networks in Poland. The length of a single track is 119 km. Every year, Szczecin trams carry 65 million passengers.

“Stage II of the Track Revolution includes eight tasks and 23 km of critical tracks, essential for the functioning of the city,” explains Wojciech Jachim, spokesman of Tramwaje Szczecińskie company. “The project value is PLN 592.5 million, of which PLN 356.2 million comes from EU funding.

The applicant and beneficiary of the project is the Municipality of Szczecin, and Tramwaje Szczecińskie (project manager) has overall responsibility for its implementation.

Major objectives of the Track Revolution:

  • enhancing the use of low-emission urban transport,
  • improving the technical condition of tram routes,
  • connecting tracks into one coherent network of tram routes.

Task list for the project “Redevelopment of tramway tracks in Szczecin - Stage II”:

1.    Reconstruction of tram trackage with overhead contact line:
        - along Niepodległości Ave. - Żołnierza Polskiego Square - Aleja Wyzwolenia - Rodła Square to Giedroycia Roundabout
        - along Kołłątaja St. - Asnyka St. - Niebuszewo loop
        - along: Żołnierza Polskiego Square - Hołdu Pruskiego Square - Matejki St. - Piłsudskiego St. (to Rodła Square).
2.    Extension and redevelopment of the road system in Powstańców Wielkopolskich Ave. for the task entitled “Redevelopment of the tram trackage together with the overhead contact line in the course of Powstańców Wielkopolskich Ave. to the Pomorzany terminus, including the development of the terminus”.
3.    Reconstruction of the tram trackage together with the overhead contact line in the course of Nabrzeże Wieleckie St. from: Podwale - Kolumba - Chmielewskiego - Smolańska - Budziszyńska Streets - to the junction in front of the Pomorzany terminus; and in the course of: Nowa St. from the railway viaduct - Ratuszowy Square - Dworcowa St. at the level of the Novotel Hotel, together with an additional connection under the viaduct.
4.    Reconstruction of the tram trackage together with the overhead contact line at Szarych Szeregów Square.
5.    Reconstruction of the tram trackage together with the overhead contact line at the Wyszyńskiego junction.
6.    Renovation of the Kolumba rectifier substation.
7.    Construction of Chmielewski rectifier substation.
8.    Renovation of the Kaszubska rectifier substation.

Stage II of the Track Revolution began in 2020 with the redevelopment of the Szarych Szeregów junction. Currently, two of the eight tasks remain to be completed.

“Trams run faster and quieter,” says Wojciech Jachim. “The increased attractiveness of rail transport translates into the reduction in the share of private cars in transport, and thus, the reduction in the negative impact of transport on the environment and the inhabitants’ living conditions.”

The final stretch - Pomorzany

Two uncompleted tasks involve the Pomorzany direction. The scope of work related to the reconstruction of the tram trackage and overhead contact line in Nabrzeże Wieleckie, Nowa, Dworcowa, Kolumba, Chmielewskiego, Smolańska Streets and Powstańców Wlkp. Ave., along with the extension of the Pomorzany terminus is considerable. This involves not only upgrading 12 kilometres of tram trackage, but also improving the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport passengers. Underground infrastructure is being rebuilt within the work together with all elements of the road section, footpaths, and lighting.

The main contractor, the Kraków-based company ZUE SA, expects that the works in the course of Kolumba and Chmielewskiego Streets will be completed in Q4 2024. Trams are scheduled to start running through Kolumba to the Pomorzany terminus in September. The section is scheduled to be opened for road traffic in late September/early October.

“The reconstruction of Powstańców Wielkopolskich Ave. will begin in September at the latest. Here, the works are planned to be completed in July 2025,” states Wojciech Jachim. “The task includes the reconstruction of the tram trackage along the entire length of Powstańców Wielkopolskich Ave.

The Pomorzany tramway terminus will be extended to an area of 1.75 ha (currently 0.73 ha). The tram trackage and platforms (5 units) will be 1350/520 metres long respectively (currently 610/130 metres). A car park will be built in the middle, and the terminus itself will house a shared tram and bus platform, a stand-off track, bus parking spaces, staff facilities for motorists and bus drivers as well as public toilets.  Following the reconstruction of the track layout on the terminus, it will be possible to exit each track in two directions (Powstańców Wielkopolskich Ave. and Kolumba St.).

Moreover, a tram stop will be built on the viaduct over railway line no. 406 in order to connect the transport system with the  Szczecin Metropolitan Railway.

“The Track Revolution facilitates the merging of already renovated tracks into a single coherent network of tram routes, constructed using modern and advanced technologies with high operating parameters,” adds Jachim. “The increased popularity of rail transport promotes passengers’ switch from private transport, thereby reducing the negative impact of transport on the environment and the living conditions of residents.

The project “Redevelopment of tramway tracks in Szczecin - Stage II” is co-financed under the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020, PRIORITY: VI Development of low-emission public transport in cities, MEASURE: 6.1 Development of public transport in cities, and is included for funding under the next financial perspective from the FEnIKS 2021-2027 Programme - Measure FENX.03.01 Urban transport.

The great makeover of Szafera St.

In recent years, Tramwaje Szczecińskie has been implementing yet another significant tram infrastructure project. It consists in the reconstruction of Szafera St.

Stage I was completed in 2021. The project covered the section from Wojska Polskiego Ave. to the junction with Romera St. - a length of approximately 1.2 km. Two-lane roads were constructed, together with a completely new two-way tram trackage, built up to allow the movement of public transport buses. Footpaths and cycle paths were created along the carriageways.

“A new tram and bus terminus has also been developed near the sports and entertainment arena. It features four tram platforms, each 90 metres long and a car park for 141 cars,” noted Wojciech Jachim, spokesman for Tramwaje Szczecińskie.

Stage I of the reconstruction of Szafera Street was implemented under the project entitled “The construction of new tram routes in Szczecin”. Cost: PLN 125 million gross. The project received co-financing from the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020.

Redevelopment of Szafera St., Stages II and III

Stage II “Redevelopment of Szafera St. from Wojska Polskiego Ave. to Sosabowskiego St.” and Stage III “Redevelopment of Szafera St. from the intersection with Romera St. and Modra St. to Sosabowskiego St.” are currently in progress.

Construction work started in February 2023. The road to Sosabowskiego/Taczaka St. is being built, along with a tram trackage, cycle path and footpaths. After its completion, an uninterrupted stretch of a two-lane two-way arterial road will connect Krzywoustego St., via 26 Kwietnia St., Taczaka St. with Wojska Polskiego Ave. This will significantly transform transport in the area of Szeroka St., access to Bezrzecz and Zawadzkiego Housing Estate. Tram lines from the liquidated Krzekowo terminus will be serviced by the Zawadzkiego Housing Estate terminus. The tram network will increase by nearly 2,000 metres of track, and three bus and tram stops, one tram stop and two bus bays will be built.

“Tram traffic from the direction of Żołnierska St. to Zawadzkiego Housing Estate terminus will be possible as early as the beginning of summer, while the whole project is planned to be completed in February 2025,” announces Wojciech Jachim, spokesman of Tramwaje Szczecińskie. 

The contractor for the project is the Consortium of companies - TORMEL Sp. z o.o. and STANLED I Sp. z o.o. Contract value: PLN 102 million.

Stage I of the Track Revolution

Stage I of the Track Revolution began in 2012 under the name “The construction and reconstruction of tramway tracks in Szczecin”. Nineteen kilometres of tracks were renovated (including the modernisation and extension of overhead contact lines, modernisation and extension of rectifier stations and traffic lights).

The following tasks were accomplished as part of this project:

1.    track layout at Brama Portowa;
2.    dedicated tram trackage in Piastów Ave.;
3.    dedicated tram trackage in Wawrzyniaka St.;
4.    turnouts at the intersection of Bohaterów Warszawy Ave. and Jagiellońska St.;
5.    dedicated tram trackage on Energetyków and Gdańska St. with the reconstruction of Basen Górniczy bus and tram terminus;
6.    modernisation of Pogodno tram depot.

Cost: PLN 285 million, including EU co-financing of PLN 176.6 million.

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