History of the project

In 2008 PKP Intercity, in cooperation with the Institute of Industrial Design, announced a closed contest "Conceptual design of graphical elements and colour scheme of the exterior and a conceptual design of the interior of PKP Intercity multiple units". The contest was won by maradDesign studio, and the winning design was presented to all parties who submitted their offers to deliver 20 high-speed train sets. The potential manufacturers could thus get to know PKP Intercity's requirements as far as the design is concerned; moreover, the agreement signed with Alstom, the company which won the tender, contained stipulations according to which the ordering party would have the right to decide on colour scheme and material-related issues.

The design was based on a DESIGN BOOK prepared by Alstom Transport Design & Styling on the basis of a concept by the renowned GIUGIARO DESIGN studio and the design presented by maradDesign. The final design was created by Alstom Transport Design & Styling in close cooperation with maradDesign.

The author of the design is thus:

Giugiaro – maradDesign – Alstom Transport Design & Styling

Functional solutions

All the activities of the designers were focused on one main goal: the comfort of passengers. The second class seats are comfortable and ergonomic, have armrests, a foldable table, individual lighting and electrical sockets. Passengers also have a luggage rack and clothe hangers at their disposal. Every seat is clearly marked. Some seats are placed opposite each other and have foldable tables installed between them. This allows for the creation of a comfortable space for four passengers.

First class passengers will have much more space available – three seats are installed in a line. The units also have three Business compartments, each with four seats and with additional amenities: more space for personal luggage, closets and larger tables.

There is enough space for oversized luggage – like bicycles – in the general access area as well. An additional area is the middle of the unit is foreseen for passengers with reduced mobility. Each coach has a toilet, and there is a special toilet designed specifically for reduced mobility passengers.

Providing comfortable bar with standing places for several passengers and seats in the adjacent part of the coach. The bar staff will have two trolleys available to quickly serve all passengers.

All spatial solutions were first viewed as three-dimensional models and, if necessary, were perfected. A team of Alstom and maradDesign designers carefully examined each part of the unit before it was constructed.

Colour scheme and materials

The exterior colour scheme was selected from many proposals. It accents the characteristic and expressive shape of the unit – particularly its front – which was designed by Giugiaro. It also reflects – although not literally – the Intercity colour scheme. Above all, it underlines the modernity and speed of the "flagship" of Polish railways.

The calm and harmonious interior colour tones are combined with several stronger accents and colours which have not been commonly used in rail vehicles. The entire colour scheme is cohesive and uniform, and yet every area and every class have their distinctive colours. The materials used conform to all technical and functional requirements – they are durable, resistant to dirt and easy to replace. Before they were approved for production, they had been precisely inspected and tested by the designers to make sure the best materials had been selected.

Atmosphere, character, style

The responsibility of the designers to create friendly and aesthetic surroundings for such a diversified group of customers made them pay particular attention to the stylistic uniformity of all interior components, to perfect the details, to carefully think about every view and touch that passengers will see and feel.