Interview with Zbigniew Konieczek,
President of the Management Board, Managing Director of NEWAG S.A.
in Nowy Sącz
If you tried to describe the specialisations of NEWAGU in railway industry, what would they be?
Without any doubt, it would be a widely understood production of railway vehicles in Poland and abroad. Our company specializes in manufacturing electric and diesel multiple units and electric locomotives as well as in overhauls and modernisations of electric and diesel locomotives and passenger carriages. In addition, we also manufacture tramways.
What did Newag have to do in order to become a power in modernisation of diesel locomotives and
manage this fragment of Polish market in one hundred per cent?
This goal was accomplished thanks to a number of factors. Firstly - and perhaps most importantly - understanding the needs of customers; secondly - having rich experience in production and maintenance of locomotives; thirdly - relatively early development of the concept of modernisation using new diesel engines; and fourthly - adequate utilisation of the initial interest of the customer.
In 2015 on the route between Psary and Góra Włodawska, Impuls 45 WE broke the Polish speed record on rails, developing 226 kilometres per hour. I think it was not the last word by Newag…
Travelling at a speed of 226 kilometres, we proved that we had know-how and competences making it possible to produce vehicles adapted to travelling at a speed above 200 kilometres. However, the needs of the Polish market for the coming several years do not point to the carriers’ interest in trains capable of developing such speeds. It is a derivative of speed limits in the infrastructure. The experience we acquired at the test stage will be used when first interested customers will appear in the market. But you are right: certainly, it was not our last word…
Newag enters into numerous contracts with many customers. Please, tell us which of the contracts has
been the largest in terms of value and which one has been the most demanding?
We signed the largest unit contract with the Western Group Purchasing Organisation concerning the delivery of 14 Impuls vehicles with an option to buy two additional units. The total net value of the order concerning the production of 16 vehicles amounted to 278.7 million zlotys. At the same time it was the most demanding contract with regard to the very short term of delivery of the trains. In consortium with Siemens, Newag made 35 Inspiro vehicles for the Warsaw metro. The net value of the contract to the extent of Newag’s delivery was 308.3 million zlotys.
Newag’s trains successfully run on the tracks of the Warsaw metro. They will also carry passengers
of the underground railway in Sophia. What were the requirements of Bulgarians?
Vehicles for Sophia are three-element metro units with the design based on Inspiro trains. Since they will be used both in and outside the tunnel, it was necessary to equip the trains with pantographs and install air-conditioning. In the trains of the Warsaw metro - supplied from the third rail - only train driver's cabins are air-conditioned and the passenger unit is equipped with a ventilation system only.
What are the main strategic lines of development for Newag in the coming years?
Many times we have communicated our interest in foreign markets. Geographical diversification of customers would stabilize revenues from sale in a long-term perspective. This is the market strategy we pursue and it is testified by the delivery of the first Vulcano trains for the Italian carrier FCE and by the contract concerning the delivery of electric multiple units Impuls II for another Italian carrier, namely Ferrovie del Sud Est e Servizi Automobilistici s.r.l. - “FSE” based in Bari. We will consistently expand our presence in foreign markets.