CZ/SK verze

The Czech Republic plans to significantly support rail transport within its Transport Policy

The Czech Republic plans to significantly support rail transport within its Transport Policy
photo: Green Deal
08 / 04 / 2021

The Government of the Czech Republic approved the Transport Policy of the Czech Republic for the period 2021 - 2027 with a view to 2050 (hereinafter referred to as the Transport Policy).

This supreme strategic document responds to the European legislation to which the Czech Republic is bound, especially to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Green Agreement for Europe (Green deal). An important goal for the transport sector is to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 90% by 2050 and to transfer 75% of inland freight transport in the EU from road to rail and waterway by the same year. According to the Transport Policy, the future of transport is based on the principles of so-called sustainable mobility, multimodality, ecologization of transport and reducing energy consumption. The strong base of the transport system should be formed mainly by rail transport. Since the transfer of transport to rail, it promises energy savings of about 9 TWh per year.

 One of the most important topics of Transport Policy is the reduction of energy consumption and the associated reduction of emissions. The follow-up National Plan of the Czech Republic in the field of energy and climate until 2030 stipulates a commitment for the Czech Republic to reduce final energy consumption by 8% between 2020 and 2030 and to reduce carbon dioxide production by 10%. These are very serious obligations for transport, as the trend of latest years in the Czech Republic is quite the opposite: energy consumption in transport is growing annually by an average of 3.5% and carbon dioxide production in transport by 4%. However, the potential for energy savings in transport is considerable. n the horizon of 2050, the Czech Republic wants to reduce the final energy consumption in transport from the current 300 PJ / year (with the production of 21 Mt CO2 / year) at the same transport outputs to the target value of 100 PJ / year (production 0 Mt CO2 / year). How does Transport Policy want to achieve these goals?

 The transport policy is based on the fact that the internal combustion engine in transport has a low efficiency compared to the electric motor (up to 2.5 times lower) and is a source of emissions of harmful substances and noise. Lower rolling resistance and lower resistance of the rail transport environment are also important. In the case of regular and strong transport flows, it supports the use of rail transport with electric carriage, both in passenger and freight transport. An important step is the decarbonisation of transport and the transition to zero-emission and low-emission drives. Transport policy addresses, for example, the possibility of eliminating discrimination against electric traction against vehicles with internal combustion engines by removing the payment for subsidized renewable energy sources (POZE) and emission allowances, which do not occur for fossil fuels, from the price of electricity. On the contrary, it plans to disadvantage fossil fuels by introducing, from 2025, a penalty surcharge for the operation of a diesel vehicle on an electrified line as part of the price for the use of a railway (with exceptions). The state also no longer intends to contribute to the regions for regional transport services if they operate vehicles with internal combustion engines on electrified lines.

 In terms of freight transport, the development of continental combined transport is going to be supported. One of the problems to be solved is the limited capacity of railway track for freight trains and the resulting low reliability. From the point of view of combined transport terminals, the problem is not seen in their number (17), but mainly in the insufficient equipment and size of areas. One of the planned measures is the establishment of a program to support the development of combined and multimodal transport terminals. It promises to increase the performance of continental combined transport from the current 406 million tkm to 800.

In the direction of passenger transport, the Transport Policy wants to continue to support the growing performance and improvement of rail passenger transport, especially long-distance transport. As in the case of freight transport, the limited capacity of the railway tracks plays a major role here. It therefore plans to implement market liberalization in judiciously railway transport, and the introduction of the so-called concession model is also being considered. The eco-friendliness of rail transport see mainly in the larger number of transported persons or goods in one train. On the main tracks, it is planned to support longer trains, by setting the price for the transport route, which will do more transport work within their slot. The weight categories are to be removed from the calculation of the price for the transport route, both for passenger and freight transport. It also wants to regulate carriers so that they do not use slow or low-performance vehicles that delay other trains to transport trains on heavily loaded lines. The attractiveness of public transport on railways is to be addressed primarily by creating an integrated transport system and the associated united transfer tariff. The state is also to support the combination of public transport with the individual through the construction of interchanges with P + R and B + R parking systems. The renewal of the vehicle fleet also plays an important role in passenger transport, which has been insufficient for many years and this results in an obsolete vehicle fleet with low attractiveness for passengers, high maintenance costs, high energy consumption, etc. The development of vehicles lags behind the growing transport demand and the development of the railway. Due to the great financial demands of ordering regional rail passenger transport, the question of competencies is being resolved, whether such transport will be ordered by the state in the future or will be left to the regions. The final solution will be the subject of a follow-up Public Transport Concept and the final solution should be known by the end of 2021.

Measures to make rail transport more attractive are mainly to increase the capacity of the railway network and speed up the electrification of tracks, including the transition to a single AC traction system AC 25 kV 50 Hz (and thus gradually eliminate the DC 3 kV DC system, which mainly affects the northern half). By the end of 2022, the Transport Policy plans to complete the plan for the target scope of electrification of railway tracks in the Czech Republic and by 2027 it plans to expand the network of electrified tracks from the current 3,235 km to 3,350 km and create facilities for battery operation. The pan-European ETCS security system will be further developed. Insufficient track capacity will be solved mainly by new constructions. In particular, it is planned to solve the missing connection of agglomerations to the catchment metropolises, that is especially the connection from Prague to Liberec, Karlovy Vary, Jihlava, Most, but also Brno to Zlin, and this all by 2040. The situation in northern Bohemia is completely unpleasant, where the population in the industrially oriented north of the Czech Republic has at its disposal only unsatisfactory single-track non-electrified lines with a speed of around 80 km / h. These are practically unusable for long-distance and interregional transport. Furthermore, the Transport Policy states that there is a lack of direct and high-quality railway connections between Václav Havel Airport and the center of Prague and through long-distance transport with regional centers. The planned development of railway transport infrastructure consists in the completion of transit railway corridors, including railway junctions by 2025 (with the exception of junctions in Prague and Brno and sections with long tunnels), modernization of tracks on the main TEN-T network for passenger and freight transport and tracks included in freight railways corridors according to Regulation (EU) No. 913/2010 by 2030, modernization of railway tracks on the global TEN-T network by 2050 at the latest. Furthermore, the continuation of the preparation of high-speed railway projects so that the pilot sections and sections included in the main TEN-T network will be operational by 2030 at the latest and sections of the global TEN-T network by 2050 at the latest. On high-speed railways, not only fast passenger transport will be considered, but also fast transport of goods (packages, EU pallets, etc.) in the sense of the Euro Carex system. For this purpose, multimodal terminals on high-speed lines will be kept in mind not only for the purpose of passenger transport, but also for the purpose of transporting goods.