CZ/SK verze

Czech Republic and France Accelerate Rail and Transport Decarbonisation at Czech - French Railway Days 2023

Czech Republic and France Accelerate Rail and Transport Decarbonisation at Czech - French Railway Days 2023
photo: Archive RAILTARGET/Czech Republic and France Accelerate Rail and Transport Decarbonisation at Czech - French Railway Days 2023
09 / 06 / 2023

The French Embassy in the Czech Republic and the Business France office in Prague, in partnership with the Czech Infrastructure Association (Asociace pro rozvoj infrastruktury - ARI), organised the Czech - French Railway Days 2023 in Prague on Thursday, June 8, and Friday, June 9, 2023.

The main aim of this event is to demonstrate the convergence of approach between France and the Czech Republic in their rail and transport decarbonisation policies, and to promote rail cooperation between the infrastructure managers Správa Železnic (Railway Administration) and SNCF Réseau, in the presence of their CEOs, Matthieu Chabanel and Jiří Svoboda. The aim is also to discuss the prospects for new partnerships and mutually beneficial collaboration between French and Czech players in the rail sector, in the design and construction of rail infrastructure, the manufacture of rolling stock and the operation of transport services, as part of a more integrated European rail supply chain. Lastly, Czech - French Railway Days 2023 provides an opportunity to discuss solutions for developing and financing innovative rail projects involving private investors (public-private partnerships, green bonds).

The Czech - French Railway Days 2023 took place over two days:

  • the first day (June 8, 2023), organised at the French Embassy, focused more specifically on the results and prospects of Franco-Czech cooperation between Sprava Zeleznic and SNCF Réseau, in preparation for the high-speed line project in the Czech Republic; with 12 French companies from the railway sector taking part; this day also provided an opportunity for French and Czech companies to establish contacts with a view to future collaboration on railway development projects in the Czech Republic;
  • the second day (June 9, 2023), organised by the Czech Infrastructure Association (ARI) at the Chamber of Deputies, is more specifically dedicated to public-private partnership rail projects, a model successfully implemented in France for the construction of several high-speed lines. A conference on the sustainable financing of rail infrastructure through green bond issues is also being organised alongside the conference.

France and the Czech Republic launched bilateral cooperation in rail infrastructure in 2019, coordinated at the transport ministry level by a bilateral working group. This cooperation is mainly based on a partnership established between SNCF Réseau, the French railway infrastructure manager, and its Czech counterpart, Správa Železnic, as part of the preparation of the high-speed line (HSL) network project. This cooperation has enabled the Czech railway authorities to adopt technical standards inspired by the French high-speed model and to take into account French feedback from more than 40 years of TGV (high-speed train) operation.

The current cooperation framework between SNCF Réseau and Správa Železnic is framed by a new contract signed on October 20, 2021, between SNCF Réseau and Správa Železnic for eight years, providing for the supply by SNCF Réseau of technical expertise services covering the entire investment cycle (design, construction of lines, preparation for operation and maintenance), while the Czech HSL project is now in a more concrete operational phase with the completion of line layout and design studies. In addition to the HSL project, French operators and companies are ready to contribute and work with their Czech partners to implement the many projects to modernise the existing rail network and create new urban rail networks.

"Drawing on the long experience of our French partners, the Czech Republic is resolutely committed to the objective of building a modern, efficient and safe rail network, the backbone of which will be the high-speed lines; this network will considerably strengthen the connectivity and economic attractiveness of our country concerning its European neighbours," says Martin Kupka, Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic.

"France and the Czech Republic share a similar strategic approach to driving and achieving our transition to a low-carbon economy. In the field of transport, this means developing rail and high-speed rail. On the occasion of this anniversary of cooperation between Správa Železnic and SNCF Réseau on high-speed lines, I encourage the development of partnerships between our companies to support the management, financing – if necessary through PPPs – and implementation of these major projects that will provide structure for the Czech Republic and the European Union," says Alexis Dutertre, French Ambassador to the Czech Republic.

Source: The French Embassy in the Czech Republic