Report: Railway Conference Pardubice 2020

Report: Railway Conference Pardubice 2020
photo: Archiv/Railway station
25 / 09 / 2020

This year was the sixth year of the Pardubice Railway Conference. This event is organized by MP Martin Kolovratník (ANO). This is one of the largest events of this kind in the Czech Republic. However, this year was different from the others - the conference was online.

The guests of the conference included Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transportation Karel Havlíček, General Director of the Czech Railways Václav Nebeský, General Director of the Railway Administration Jiří Svoboda and other important guests and experts. There were really many topics to solve.

The Czech Railways is on the edge of great development. Statistics from previous years show that rail transport is still gaining in popularity. The trains are used by more and more people. If this year’s COVID-19 pandemic situation did not happen, record numbers would have fallen as well. For example, the Czech Railways transported 181.1 million passengers and 65 million tons of goods last year.

For this reason, state investments in railway infrastructure is an absolute key. "This year, the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure is managing a historically record amount - more than CZK 124 billion. On top of that, even more funds should be spent on transport constructions next year, namely CZK 128.7 billion," said the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Karel Havlíček. The Road Administration (SŽDC) could receive up to CZK 54 billion from the state next year. These funds, for example, could also be used for the corridors repairs.

However, security matters were also discussed. Especially at railway crossings. The General Director of the Railway Administration, Jiří Svoboda, stated: “This year, 142 crossings are being upgraded, 92 have already been completed by the Railway Administration, 46 are in progress and 4 are being prepared. At the same time, I would like to remind you that the Ministry of Transport approved the documents for the modernization of more than 200 more crossings at the so-called Central Commission."

The conference also touched the topic of train drivers. The Minister of Transportation, Karel Havlíček, commented on this topic: “The Ministry of Transport managed to reach an agreement with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in the proposed measures for train drivers. They will be guaranteed a bed rest for at least 6 hours between shifts. A break-time in the shift is also newly proposed, which must be provided after 6 hours of continuous work and lasting at least 45 minutes. New and more precise measures will prevent the circumvention or purposeful interpretations of these regulations." At the same time, it is necessary to strengthen the professionalism and quality of train drivers. For this purpose, the ČD purchased two simulators. One is in Prague and the other one in Česká Třebová.

The last topic discussed was the construction of high-speed lines in the Czech Republic. Passenger trains should run on it at speeds of up to 200 km / hour. Due to this, the transport will be accelerated as much as possible. The line from Dresden to Prague and the line Prague-Pardubice were discussed by the participants.

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