10th anniversary of Szybka Kolej Miejska [SKM– Warsaw Fast City Rail]
The Falenica line marked the beginning. A decade ago, the only railway line which could be used by SKM was Warszawa Zachodnia – Falenica route.
“We scheduled the first passenger service on this route for October 3, 2005. It was decided that there will be two lines because we only had two trains at our disposal: one we had borrowed from Gdynia and the only new train manufactured by Newag,” recollected Jerzy Obrębski, Member of the Board of SKM. “My task was to do everything so that the trains would set off on time. We were under huge stress.”
“EN71 was a train manufactured in the 1960s,” recollected Grzegorz Chraniuk, train manager employed at Szybka Kolej Miejska in 2005. “Before it was put in operation, it had been covered with a wrap in SKM Warsaw colours. It was defective but the worst thing was that it was old and battered. Passengers did not want to board such a wreck. Luckily, our fleet was soon joined by new 14WE electric multiple units ordered in Nowy Sącz. They had a streamlined body and were painted in white and light blue colours with a characteristic orange stripe (the train colours would be changed a few years later). The open-floor interior of Newag-manufactured EMU was well-lit, its seats bore the SKL logo. Newag’s designers managed to decrease the noise level inside the train, which significantly enhanced the comfort of travelling.”
Passengers were shocked by the super-modern appearance of the new 14WE trains. They were air-conditioned so we had to make sure passengers did not open windows,” added Grzegorz Chraniuk. “People used to come to see the interior of the driver’s cab at train stops (…) And they were surprised that the train driver remembered to announce each train stop – they did not believe that it was a recorded message.”
This year SKM — Warsaw Fast City Rail is celebrating its 10th anniversary and took this opportunity to honour its selected suppliers and business partners. NEWAG S.A., which so far has supplied more than half of the SKM rolling stock i.e., 19 electric multiple units, was recognized for its long-term professional cooperation.