Tram route to Mistrzejowice one step closer

Request has been filed for a Road Construction Consent (RCC) decision for the tram route to Mistrzejowice. Once approved, it will pave the way for launching the construction of one of key investments in northern Kraków.

The design stage of KST IV (Meissnera – Mistrzejowice) enters its key phase. “Recent months have brought major changes to the design from the point of view of Kraków residents. The infrastructure for the planned pre-metro and the tram at Strzelców street has been taken into account. This translates into time and money savings for future investment projects” – says Andrzej Kulig, Deputy Mayor of Kraków for social and municipal policy.

Although tunnel extension and underground turnout chambers at its ends impacted the design works schedule, the request a RCC decision was filed at the beginning of January. Since the tram route is implemented in the PPP model, the private partner – the consortium of PPP Solutions Polska and Gülermak – is responsible for completing documents necessary to launch the project implementation phase and for ensuring financing.

The construction of tramway route to Mistrzejowice to kick off in 2022

“The documentation has been compiled by a project team of several dozen people and after a number of analyses and arrangements, including with the owners of the networks at the site of the future construction site as well as with units responsible for the safety of road users or water management” – says Paweł Motyka, Deputy Project Manager at Gülermak. “We hope that thanks to the joint effort by the public entity and the private partner at the stage of the procedure for issuing the RCC decision, we will soon be able to enter the construction site”.

During the request for RCC decision procedure, the private partner will continue working on the design documentation, including: detailed phasing of works, permanent and temporary traffic organization in the investment area and the technical design.

Clean and passenger-friendly transportation

In line with the updated schedule, the residents of Kraków will benefit from the fast tram route at the end of 2024. Once operational, it will shorten the travel time from Mistrzejowice to the city center by approx. 12 minutes and will eliminate any changes and significantly improve public transport experience. The investment will also improve the safety of vulnerable road users – sidewalks and bicycle paths will comply with applicable regulations. New plantings have been planned along the route and the species of trees and shrubs selected will be resistant to harsh urban conditions. The solutions have been designed using environmentally friendly technologies, including energy-saving LED lighting, renewable energy-powered track lubricators, “green stops” and “green trackbed” featuring sedum mats. Some stops will have photovoltaic cells.

“Our project fully leverages on the benefits available under the PPP model. One key advantage is that it does not burden the administration’s public debt. This project model makes the private partner’s remuneration dependent on the availability of the new route which ensures high standard of infrastructure performance and maintenance for 20 years” – says Marcin Hanczakowski, Director of Kraków Municipal Road Authority (ZDMK).

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One year of designing the route to Mistrzejowice. Here’s the summary!

The cooperation of private and public partners under the KST IV project will last 24 years. What was the first year like? Here’s the summary!

The contract for the design, financing, construction and maintenance of the tramway route to Mistrzejowice was signed at the end of December 2020. It created quite a buzz, because the project is the third PPP investment in the history of the Polish market in terms of capital expenditure and, at the same time, the largest in the transport sector. It assumes a partnership cooperation and split of risks between the Kraków Municipality and a consortium of PPP Solutions Polska and Gülermak. The selected private partner is supposed not only to finance and build the new infrastructure, but also to maintain it for 20 years. . The public entity will therefore become financially involved only when the tram starts transporting passengers. The entity responsible for the project on behalf of the city is Kraków Municipal Road Authority (ZDMK).

The tramway to Mistrzejowice: design works

Early in 2021 the designer for the project was selected – the consortium of Arcadis and Prota Polska – as well as the Contract Engineer: INKO Consulting. Works on the design could go full steam ahead. However, before it was finalized, ZDMK requested an analysis of possibly extending the underground section of the route so that the grade-separated solution would be applied under both the Polsadu roundabout and the Młyńskie roundabout. This was related to the plans for building a premetro that would be partially overlapping with the tram route to Mistrzejowice. Design works, cost calculations and extensive arrangements for the new scope were still ongoing when the design concept received a positive opinion from the contract engineer (June). All the works were continued at the stage of developing the architectural and building design.

During the summer holidays, noise level measurements were made to design acoustic protection and geological surveys were launched to establish soil and water conditions where the tunnel would be built. At the same time, arrangements were made with many participants in the investment process, including the owners of underground networks, Wody Polskie (National Water Management Authority), the City of Kraków’s Municipal Traffic Engineer. Their outcome will be decisive for the date of filing the request for a road construction consent decision (ZRID). In 2021, a positive opinion was obtained from of the Municipal Team for Vulnerable Road Users.

In the recent months the solutions for Młyńskie roundabout were approved that can be implemented after the resolution by the City Council where additional funds have been secured for this purpose in the Multiannual Financial Forecast.

Tramway to Mistrzejowice: in touch with the locals

Since early spring, Gülermak – in cooperation with ZDMK – has been launching channels for communicating with local residents: the FB profile, the website, the project hotline, e-mails. Nearly 70 individuals and organizations have directly asked questions about the project using these channels. Then there are dozens of questions in the comments to our Facebook posts which were also answered.

A period of several weeks turned out to be important from the perspective of relations with residents: the second stage of public consultation held at the turn of August and September. The most important matters for the local community were revealed in the survey, during online and stationary meetings with experts as well as in telephone conversations. We were also able to reach out to the local residents in the Mobile Information Outlet in November on the Młyńskie roundabout.

“Little Masters – to Mistrzejowice by tram” was a project for the youngest residents from the kindergartens in Prądnik Czerwony and Mistrzejowice districts. In 2021 over 650 kids took part in the initiative.

Tramway to Mistrzejowice: What will the coming months bring?

A team of designers, industry professionals, planners, experts in investment financing and control are working hard to kick off the works next year. The first weeks of 2022 will witness finalizing the arrangements and completing documents necessary to file for the RCC decision. It may take up to several months before it is reviewed. Talks with banks will also be finalized to sign a direct agreement that will launch the project implementation.

According to the updated schedule, construction will start in Q2 2022 and will last until the end of 2024.

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Tramway tunnel extended. Trams will cross the Młyńskie Roundabout in a grade-separated way

It is now certain that the underground part of the tram route to Mistrzejowice will be over 1.2 km – trams will cross the Młyńskie roundabout in a grade-separated way. With additional funds for the investment approved by the Kraków City Council, the PPP contract was amended.

Changes in the design, approved at the end of December, enable a grade-separated tram route on level -1 not only under Polsadu roundabout, but also under Młyńskie roundabout. The tram will start descending to a half-open, secured excavation already around Pszona Street in order to pass under the Młyńskie roundabout without affecting the traffic on the surface. “The underground option will not only shorten the tram journey time, but also improve traffic organization in the area of the intersection” – says Paweł Motyka, Deputy Project Manager at Gülermak. Passengers will get on the tram in this area already on level -1 reaching the stop using traditional stairs, escalators or spacious lifts.

In the area of Polsadu roundabout, trams will continue in a tunnel similar to the one under the Main Railway Station and will resurface before Barei roundabout. This way it will run smoother and safer through the over 1.2-kilometer part of the planned route.

Tramway to Mistrzejowice to go underground

As a reminder: initially, the tram route to Mistrzejowice would cross the Młyńskie roundabout on the surface. Analyzes were launched in spring into placing the tracks at level -1. The design was ready in October. In December, Kraków City Council allocated additional funds in the Multiannual Financial Forecast which gave the green light to changes in the PPP contract. Last works are now in progress on finalizing the road network along the entire investment.

A route offering a perspective for premetro

An extended underground part of the route will be an advantage only for the tram passengers, but also for future users of the premetro. The city authorities have recently approved the study of its first line (from Nowa Huta to Bronowice) where both routes will be aligned at a distance of approx. 700 meters. “We make every effort to ensure that our investment fits in with other planned municipal projects. The new tram route will be coordinated with that of the premetro” – said Marcin Hanczakowski, director of Kraków Municipal Road Authority (ZDMK) in an interview for the website. The change involves the construction of a turnout chamber to direct the metro cars towards Pilotów street without direct interference with the new infrastructure.

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Traditional walls of Kraków have inspired the design of underground stop at Polsadu roundabout

We already know what the stop in the tunnel of the Krakow Fast Tram to Mistrzejowice will look like. The main theme of the selected design are the materials characteristic of Krakow’s walls – stone and brick. A large skylight will provide adequate lighting of the interior of the underground station at Polsadu roundabout.

Architectural design of the Polsadu roundabout stop prepared by the Prota Polska Sp. z o.o. company on behalf of Gülermak has been positively received by the Chief Architect of the City of Kraków.   It features two underground floors: level -2 with tram platforms and level -1 with circulation paths for pedestrians leading to the ground level through four staircases. Each exit pavilion will be roofed and have traditional stairs, escalators and elevators to serve bicycles or prams. The stop is fully accessible to persons with reduced mobility. Underground – on top of areas for passengers – there will be premises for staff of the tram stop and tunnel services as well as technical rooms for safe and proper operations of the facility.

No more boring pedestrian tunnels

The designers knew the drawback of tunnels and other linear structures: the monotony of long corridors. To prevent it, a cladding system was designed on the walls underground. The pattern is repeatable yet the effect is different depending on the viewing angle. Even though made of modern materials, the cladding will refer to the raw materials so common across Kraków’s historic streets.

“The starting point for us when designing the stop at Polsadu roundabout were the materials that dominate the architecture of Kraków: stone and brick” – says Małgorzata Marcinkowska, an architect with Prota Polska Sp. z o.o. “Walls made of these materials are arranged in a specific way and display certain rhythm, especially the details of the brick threads. Our idea was to translate this pattern into large-format geometric forms of interior cladding and to apply an analogous color scheme” – explains the designer.

Exit pavilions featuring contrasting items

Brick walls, overgrown with vines, are also typical landscape in Prądnik Czerwony – a district in Kraków rich in monastery buildings. This is the association visible in exit pavilions which were designed in a contrastive manner. “One of the walls is a reference to a massive wall covered with vegetation, the rest of the pavilion is a light, glazed steel structure” – says Małgorzata Marcinkowska. The species of plants that make up the ‘green wall’ will be carefully selected so that they are easy to maintain and aesthetic throughout the year.

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Over a cup of tea about the Tramway. Mobile Information Outlet at the Młyńskie roundabout

Once the tram line to Mistrzejowice is in place, the Młyńskie roundabout will become a major transfer hub. We are spreading the news about our investment plans. This time we reached local residents in ZDMK’s Mobile Information Outlet. As the Turkish custom has it, talks were held over a cup of tea served by the private partner – Gülermak.

As part of the KST IV tramway route project, the Młyńskie roundabout will become a two-level transfer hub. Initial concept for the tram route involved an above-ground track in this area. However, at the request of the public partner, an alternative solution was designed and ultimately trams will cross the roundabout in a grade-separated way: at level -1.

How will the immediate vicinity change? When will construction works start and how long will they last? These are just some of the questions asked by the local residents who decided to chat with us in the Mobile Information Outlet. On top of verbal information, we have also been distributing brochures describing the project and informing local residents where and how they can report comments and ask more questions. The event was organized by the private partner of the project – Gülermak company – which in line with the Turkish custom hosted the guests with a cup of tea.

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Tramway to Mistrzejowice to take route at -1 level through Młyńskie roundabout

Decision has been made concerning changes in the design in the area of Młyńskie roundabout. Partners in the project of construction of the KST IV tram route have agreed on implementing trackbed at -1 level which is an alternative option to the one planned initially. The changes are a response to the residents’ expectations and will ensure the project is integrated with the planned construction of premetro.

Initially, the tramway route to Mistrzejowice was to feature an over-ground trackbed in the area of Młyńskie roundabout. In the spring, analyses were launched to check the possibility of introducing changes to the design whereby the tracks would be below the ground level. Their outcome brings solutions where the tramway route is below the roundabout.

“One of the main reasons for this decision is that the city had approved the premetro study which provides for its joint route with the KST IV  between Bareja and Młyńskie roundabouts. By adjusting infrastructure to this major investment, we are supporting further development of transportation system without the need to redevelop the one already existing” – says Marcin Hanczakowski, Director of Kraków Municipal Road Authority (ZDMK). “We also wanted the tram to pass through Młyńskie roundabout, a critical location, in a grade-separated way so that all traffic users can save time and travel safely” – he adds.

The proposed underground route option was supported by the residents as seen in the preliminary results of a survey made as part of the second stage of public consultation for KST IV. It was the preferred option for approx. 65% of respondents.

Longer tramway route at -1 level

Under the new solution, down ramps – leading to a shored excavation in which trackbed will be placed under Młyńskie roundabout – will be located in the area of Pszona street. Passengers will be using stops at -1 level on the northern side of the roundabout.  The stops will be accessible via underpasses which the passengers can reach using stairs or elevators situated on both sides of Młyńska street. Trams will be entering the planned tunnel before Polsadu roundabout. Therefore, the underground section of the tramway line, including ramps, will be approx. 1,180 meters long.

“Passengers already know this solution from Mogilskie roundabout. The underground option will not only shorten the tram journey time, but also improve traffic organization in the area of the intersection” – says Paweł Motyka, Deputy Project Manager at Gülermak. “The biggest challenge for this design option comes from the location of a tributary of Sudoł Dominikański stream right under the roundabout. This requires the grade line of the tramway route to be under the tributary, at 9.65m below ground level” – explains Motyka. The basic option of the new solution in the area of Młyńskie roundabout involves the redesign of the existing road network on the ground to be a turbo-roundabout. Yet, analysis of the possibility of leaving the intersection in its current form is still performed. Each route has a consistent circulation system designed for pedestrians and cyclists. The cost of additional works is set at approx. PLN 135m. Their implementation requires the consent of the Kraków City Council.

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Positive opinion from the team tasked with reviewing the safety of vulnerable road users

Solutions for cyclists and pedestrians designed as part of KST IV tram route received a positive opinion of the team tasked with reviewing the safety of vulnerable road users. Below you can find the sheets presented to the team. The designer will still add on them some minor comments from the opinion.

Lema / Meissnera intersectiion and Meissnera street
Lema / Meissnera intersection
Meissnera street and Młyńskie roundabout
Młyńskie roundabout
Młyńskie roundabout and Młyńska street
Polsadu roundabout, Lublańska street and Barei roundabout
Barei roundabout and Dobrego Pasterza street
Dobrego Pasterza, Krzesławicka, Bohomolca streets
Bohomolca and Jancarza streets
Jancarza street and Mistrzejowice tram loop
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Positive opinion from the team tasked with reviewing the safety of vulnerable road users

Solutions designed as part of the KST IV tram route received a positive opinion from the team tasked with reviewing the safety of vulnerable road users. Wherever area conditions allowed, bicycle paths were designed on both sides of the investment and separated from pedestrian traffic.

The team – being part of Public Transport Authority in Kraków – started reviewing the KST IV design in June and allocated some time for collecting opinions from the residents. Intensive work has been made since then to adapt the infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists to the standards required by Kraków. Two meetings have been held between the designer and the audit participants while the review procedure ended with a positive opinion.

– The safety of vulnerable road users is a very important aspect of any project and designs are always reviewed by experts. The design of tram route to Mistrzejowice was no exception. We are happy the opinion is positive and now the designer will be analyzing the last comments – said Marcin Hanczakowski, Director of Kraków Municipal Road Authority (ZDMK).

The design involves the construction of new and partial reconstruction of the existing bicycle paths along the entire length of the tram route. They are planned on both sides of the route on the section between Lema–Meissnera intersection and the entrance to Water Park. They will be integrated with the infrastructure for cyclists in the areas adjacent to the project or they will enable smoothly joining the general traffic.

– For safety reasons – as much as possible given the area conditions – we followed the general rule of separating the bicycle and pedestrian traffic: the former one closer to the pavement, the latter on the inner side – says Paweł Motyka, Deputy Project Manager with Gülermak implementing the project. Whenever possible, the bicycle paths designed are 3m wide and safe geometric layout has been secured.

In the tunnel sections, pedestrians and cyclists may freely use the infrastructure at all levels. Spacious lifts have been designed for cyclists, people with reduced mobility and parents with prams to move between the levels. There are plans to build a bicycle parking lot at the Mistrzejowice terminus as well as numerous bicycle stands – their exact locations will be agreed at the detailed design stage.

A positive opinion from the team tasked with reviewing the safety of vulnerable road users in the city introduces the last remarks on the proposed solutions. The designer will be analyzing them to possibly take them into account. The sheets with the design are available at

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Fast tram at the district XV Mistrzejowice Council meeting

Last Thursday the representatives of the project took part in XXXIII session of District XV Mistrzejowice Council presenting its assumptions and answering the questions of the councilors. We present their list with answers.

1) How will the tram road cross Dobrego Pasterza Street?
Answer: At the level of the Aqua Park, the tram road will cross the roadway of Dobrego Pasterza Street and run on the northern side of it, and then, it will enter Krzesławicka Street.
2) Will the tram road be integrated with the planned premetro?
Answer: Our section is prepared to be included in premetro, among others, by means of construction of longer underground stops. At this stage, the project does not include solutions concerning providing the premetro line along Dobrego Pasterza Street and incorporating it into KST IV, however, according to the information we have, such analyses are planned to be performed as part of works on the premetro.
3) How will the tram road cross Bohomolca Street? Since the road can be used by even 90 trams per hour, are there any concerns regarding the road network in this area?
Answer: The tram will run onto the eastern side of Bohomolca Street between the intersections with Kniaźnina and Marchołta Streets. At the intersection of Bohomolca and Kniaźnina Streets, there will be additional traffic lights; the final solutions for the intersection with Marchołta Street are being analyzed by the Municipal Traffic Engineer. Frequency of tram departures of 90 seconds is the maximum frequency, which means that the infrastructure will be adapted to such short intervals between trams, however, timetables will be adjusted by the Public Transport Authority to the forecasted passenger number during certain hours. The aim of the project is to find solutions which will be optimal for all road users: passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
4) Is it possible to analyze the option of constructing a tunnel for the tram road along Dobrego Pasterza Street?
Answer: The finalized concept of tram road construction is being created on the basis of the design developed and consulted, among others, with the council of District XV (2017), which does not provide for a tunnel section at this location. Extension of the tunnel would have a significant impact on the duration and cost of the project, however, Kraków Municipal Road Authority will consider advisability of an analysis of such an option at the request of the Council of District XV.
5) Will track lubricators be applied at the designed curve between Bohomolca and Jancarza Streets in order to reduce the noise?
Answer: At the location in question, track lubricators will be installed.
6) Will a vegetation-line constituting a noise protection measure be created on the southern side of Kniaźnina Street as requested by the Council of District XV?
Answer: A narrow tree-line has little impact on noise protection but is of significant value in terms of aesthetics. The type and scope of plantings at the determined location, as well as within the entire area of the project, will be specified in the landscaping design which will be consulted with the Municipal Greenery Authority. Its assumptions will be presented in autumn.
7) Where will noise barriers be provided?
Answer: Acoustic analysis is being carrying out, on the basis of which adequate noise protection measures will be designed. The environmental decision issued for the project imposes on the designer the obligation to install noise barriers at some locations, whereas in other places, it requires revision of the scope and type of noise abatement on the basis of analysis results.
8) How long will the construction take?
Answer: The contract duration is 40 months, approx. 25 of which are intended for construction works. They are planned to be commenced in Q1 2022.
9) Are any meetings with residents planned to be held?
Answer: Yes, they are. The details will be provided to you at the turn of August/September this year.
10) Where does the project value of 1.1 billion zlotys come from?
Answer: The project cost only, that is the construction of a tram road, constitutes approx. 660 million zlotys. The rest of the amount is the maintenance cost of the road for 20 years and its adjustment to requirements of Cracow after that period of time, for which the Private Partner will be responsible, as well as costs of financing the project, including credit costs.
11) Plans of tram road construction have been blocking some investment projects in the district, e.g. construction of lighting in Jancarza Street or of a car park within the green space in Bohomolca Street. When can they be implemented?
Answer: Prior to developing the design concept, it was not known, how exactly the land take for the project would look, therefore – due to the risk of conflicts – no permits for projects like the ones in question were issued. Now, when the concept is being finalized, planning of such tasks can be resumed.

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The design concept of construction of the tram road to Mistrzejowice is at its final stage

Works on the concept of track and road layouts as well as the tunnel with an underground stop as part of the new, approx. 4.5-km long tram road to Mistrzejowice are in progress. On that basis, the final building permit design will be developed, which will be then implemented.

Construction of the tram road to Mistrzejowice is the first such a large transport project implemented in the model of public-private partnership (PPP) in Poland. – It is the responsibility of the selected private partner to draw up a design, obtain funding, construct and maintain the infrastructure for a period of 20 years. The PPP formula gives the city both financial and quality advantages – underlines Andrzej Kulig, deputy mayor of Cracow for social and municipal policy. 

The city of Cracow decided to use government support for projects in the PPP model. It presented its idea which was noticed and selected. – Implementation of this project in the PPP model will allow implementing such an important transport project within a short period of time. We will provide the developing area of Mistrzejowice with a convenient, eco-friendly tram connection which will reduce the travel time to the city center by approx. 10 minutes – says Marcin Hanczakowski, director of Kraków Municipal Road Authority.

Concept at the final stage

The concept which specifies the route between the intersection of Lema and Meissnera Streets and the existing terminus in Mistrzejowice as well as solutions integrating the route with the existing infrastructure is being finalized. As regards the track layout, the concept provides for use of the reserve for construction of a tram road (among others, between roadways of Meissnera Street) and – in one of the options – passage under Młyńskie and Polsadu roundabouts at -1 level. It involves local changes to the road layout, reconstruction of sidewalks and the network of bike paths. The concept will be subject to the bicycle policy audit.

The key element of the designed tram road is the tunnel which will constitute a grade-separated, and therefore a faster and safer, route at a sensitive section. One of the options provides for the tram road going to -1 level before Młyńskie roundabout, where the track bed will be constructed in a shored excavation. Before Polsadu roundabout, it will turn into a tunnel. The second option considered, provides for a descent of the road to the tunnel right behind Młyńskie roundabout 

– At present, we are working on providing passengers with convenient circulation routes within the area of the underground stop planned to be constructed in the area of Polsadu roundabout. 

Its scope includes construction of boarding platforms at -2 levels and circulation paths at -1 level with exits to all sides of the roundabout, adapted to the needs of people with reduced mobility as well as allowing transport of bikes – says Paweł Motyka, deputy director of the project on behalf of Gülermak. 

Landscaping of key importance

Construction of the tram road to Mistrzejowice provides for green track bed. Such a track bed is not only about aesthetic value but it also gives the possibility of filtrating pollution and reducing noise. Once the landscaping design is ready, it will be possible to get acquainted with i.a. plans regarding trees within the project area. Currently, the last updates of the predevelopment plan are being done and the design documentation is being developed. 

Communication with residents

In order to facilitate communication with residents, the private partner has opened a project hotline – 722 22 00 88 (Monday-Friday between 8:00-16:00) and a website –, which is the main source of information about the project. In addition, an fb profile “Tramwaj do Mistrzejowic” and a LinkedIn channel for professionals have been created. The partner plans to conduct public consultation as well as extensive cooperation with Mistrzejowice and Prądnik Czerwony districts.


A new tram road of the Kraków Fast Tram (KST, IV) of approx. 4.5 km will connect Mistrzejowice with the intersection of Lema and Meissnera Streets in 2024. It is the first time that such a large transport project is implemented in the model of public-private partnership in Poland. The project encompasses construction of 10 stop pairs, a tunnel in the area of Polsadu roundabout, extension of the tram terminus in Jancarza Street as well as associated infrastructure. The private partner of the project is consortium of PPP Solutions Polska Sp. z o.o. (leader) and Gülermak Ağir Sanayi Inşaat ve Taahhüt A.Ş. The entity responsible for the project on behalf of the city is Kraków Municipal Road Authority (ZDMK).



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