CZ/SK verze

Development of Railway Infrastructure in Europe

Development of Railway Infrastructure in Europe
photo: infrastructure
22 / 03 / 2021

The European Union is aware of the need for quality multimodal infrastructure. Most transport in Europe takes place in historical long-term proven directions. The most important lines, roads or watercourses from the point of view of transport are organized into the so-called Trans-European Transport Network – TEN-T. It has two layers – the global one, which is to be completed by 2030, and the priority main “core network”, which is due to be completed as early as 2030, given its importance. The main requirement is the possibility to transport freight trains up to 740m long at a speed of at least 100 km/h. Great emphasis is placed on interoperability, in particular on the equipment of the European Rail Traffic Management System – ERTMS.

The most important transport directions within the core network were arranged into 9 so-called core network corridors. Very important and traditional is the corridor which starts at the Polish ports of Gdansk, Gdynia, Szczecin and Świnoujście in the north and heads to the Adriatic ports of Koper, Trieste, Venice and Ravenna in the south. It goes through the industrial regions of central and southern Poland, passes through the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the Austrian-Slovenian border and heads to Italy and Slovenia.

The purpose of the corridor is to remove narrow throats and coordinate infrastructure structures. Therefore, the corridor has its coordinator appointed by the European Commission. In the case of this corridor, it is Anne Elisabeth Jensen.

The railway infrastructure along the entire route is undergoing significant modernisation and can also be financed by the EU's Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). In Poland, all lines (currently the line from Szczecin to Poznan) are undergoing such modernization, while the line from Poznan to Katowice has already been modernised. Similarly, the section from Tricity to Bydgoszcz was completed and a comprehensive modernization from Bydgoszcz to Katowice is currently underway. For the next part of the train route, a key section from Katowice to the Czech borders remains to be modernised. Its modernization has already partially begun and will take about 5 years. Part of this is a comprehensive modernization of the bottom and the upper and an increase in speed where with the exception of a short section around Zebrzydowice, the speed will be 160 km/h, in the section mentioned above about 120 km/h. The section from Chybie on the state border with the Czech Republic is the only one where no work (even a project one) has started yet.

In the Czech Republic, the corridor goes along the so-called Ferdinandka, i.e. directly from Ostrava via Přerov and Otrokovice to Břeclav. The parallel branch leads through Slovakia, through the Zwardoń border crossing where the terrain is rather hilly and the parameters are not good. According to the information from Slovakian Railways, a tunnel solution is being considered but only in the very long term. On the contrary, the line from Čadca via Žilina to Bratislava has already been modernised and now the modernisation of the section from Trenčín to Žilina is being completed. Further to Austria, a double-track and electrification of the line through Devínská Nova Ves is being prepared. In Austria, the line has very good parameters, despite the generous project of the Semmerin Tunnel and Koralmbahn (see overview below, EK source).

Slovenia is currently carrying out a comprehensive modernisation of the line from Ljubjana to Koper, where such modernisation is needed following the floods that severely disrupted the line. Part of this modernisation is a partial increase in speed. The section between Lyubjana and Austria is in technically good condition.

In Břeclav, the corridor crosses with the Orient - East Med Corridor, which runs from the North Sea to the Turkish border. That's what we're going to talk about next time.