CZ/SK verze

High-speed lines: The most ambitious infrastructure project in the Czech Republic is finally approaching its implementation

High-speed lines: The most ambitious infrastructure project in the Czech Republic is finally approaching its implementation
photo: Archives/Railway
26 / 08 / 2021

The issue of high-speed lines (VRT) is a fundamental impetus for the further economic development of the Czech Republic and the involvement of České dráhy in the European network. Therefore, it is supported across major political parties, transport experts and academia. High-speed lines in the Czech Republic have been talked about for over twenty years. The reality is that political parties began to present the concept of the need for VRT development during the last elections to the Chamber of Deputies in 2017. At that time, in the election campaign, politicians promised high-speed trains with a speed of up to 300 km / h.

Probably the most famous was the campaign of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO), who in the pre-election program dreamed of traveling by train from Prague to Brno in 40 minutes.  His party colleague, a transport expert, Martin Kolovratník, promoted specific ideas for the election program.  It must be objectively admitted that in the last period, a long-discussed project of high-speed line construction, the ruling coalition has finally managed to move and one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in the Czech Republic is finally nearing its realization.  The first works should start as early as 2025.

The turning point in the preparation of the VRT was precisely the year 2017, when in the spring the Chamber of Deputies adopted a resolution on the issue of the VRT.  An international conference was held in Pardubice, where the main topic was the development of VRT.  This Railway Conference Pardubice 2017 was organized and moderated by Martin Kolovratník.  Then the government approved the outlines of a plan for the construction of high-speed lines in the Czech Republic.  During this period, a specialized department for high-speed line preparation was established at SŽDC under the leadership of Martin Švehlík, who is in charge of coordinating further progress in the implementation of the VRT development program in the Czech Republic, including solving issues of feasibility studies.

Subsequently, as part of the preparation of the VRT merger in the Czech Republic, SŽDC began cooperation with foreign partners who have many years of experience with, among others, the French Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer français (SNCF) and the German DB Netz AG and DB Energie GmbH.

 

The following VRTs are being prepared in the Czech Republic:

•             RS 1 VRT Praha – Brno – Ostrava

•             RS 2 VRT Brno – Šakvice

•             RS 4 VRT Praha – Ústí nad Labem – Dresden

•             RS 5 VRT Praha – Hradec Králové – Wrocław

Currently, the furthest project for the Prague-Dresden railway connection is being completed, where feasibility studies have already been prepared and a designer of almost 30 km of the Ore Mountains Tunnel has been selected.

It is clear that the construction of high-speed lines is a job for many terms.  From the point of view of the development of high-speed lines and railways in general, one can only wish for politicians to get to the helm again, who will once again have the construction of the so-called VRT as their priority.

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