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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » July 2, 2010
France in Poland
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Systra in Poland
July 2, 2010   
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Systra, one of the world’s largest transportation engineering companies, is carrying out several major projects in Poland, including the high-profile Krasińskiego Bridge project in Warsaw.

Systra first came to Poland in the early 1990s, initially conducting projects from its head office in Paris. It opened branches in Warsaw and Wrocław in 2005. The flagship Systra project in Poland is a 3-kilometer tram line in Warsaw which will include the Krasińskiego Bridge linking the Żoliborz district west of the Vistula River with the Targówek district to the east.

Plans to build a bridge between the two districts date back to before World War II, but work never began on the bridge. Urban planners, however, agree that in order to develop as a metropolis, Warsaw needs to build at least two or three new bridges over the Vistula River in the coming decade. The Krasińskiego Bridge design by Systra will cost zl.14 million, while the total value of the project is estimated at no less than zl.300 million.

Systra’s other projects in Poland include the modernization of the E59 railway line between Poznań and Wrocław in western Poland. As part of a consortium with the Safege company, Systra supervised the design of a railway link between downtown Warsaw and Okęcie international airport and the E20 line between Siedlce and Terespol in eastern Poland. Design studios at Systra’s Polish branch have also completed work on thorough modernization of the ŁódĽ Fabryczna railway station in ŁódĽ in central Poland.

Apart from commissions for Systra from public railways, local government and city authorities, in the past several years the company has started extensive work with local designers who have formed joint French-Polish task forces.

Systra is an international engineering and consulting group specializing in rail (passenger and freight) and public transport. The group is known worldwide for its work on transportation that offers a sustainable alternative to cars and trucks. With more than 2,500 employees worldwide, Systra has undertaken projects in 130 countries.

Systra was formed through a merger of two engineering companies in France, the Sofrerail rail research and project company and the Sofretu urban transportation research and project company. Sofrerail, a subsidiary of the French National Rail Company (SNCF), was established in 1957 in conjunction with railway construction in India, while Sofretu, a subsidiary of the Paris Transportation Authority (RATP), was established in 1961 to carry out projects for the metro in Montreal. Sofretu and Sofrerail merged at the end of 1995 and became Systra (short for systemes de transport) in 1997.

Systra is the current number one company in American league tables of global transportation engineering companies. It is carrying out projects in over 350 cities on all continents, including work on the Eurotunnel underneath the English Channel, subway lines in Dubai and New Delhi and high-speed train lines in Taiwan, Korea, Morocco and California. One of the most recognizable Systra products are patented U-shaped overpasses used, for example, in overground sections of subway lines.
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