CZ/SK verze

Prague to Vienna Rail Connection Improved: Electrification and Reduced Travel Time

Prague to Vienna Rail Connection Improved: Electrification and Reduced Travel Time
photo: Martin Kupka on Twitter/Prague to Vienna Rail Connection Improved: Electrification and Reduced Travel Time
14 / 04 / 2023

The Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic, Deputy Chairman of the ODS Martin Kupka, together with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Protection and Transport Leonore Gewessler, signed a joint statement on the development of the cross-border railway on the route Veselí nad Lužnicí - Gmünd - Vienna. The track will finally be electrified.

Emperor Ferdinand's Northern Railway was interested in a third connection between Prague and Vienna as early as the beginning of the 1860s. It thus wanted to compete with its rival – the State Railway Company. Over more than 150 years, the track has undergone major changes. The first steam trains ran on it, and later, the railway was electrified in several stages.

Since 1955, the entire Austrian section has been electrified. However, the Czech side is still not complete. The section between Veselí nad Lužnicí and České Velenice near the Austrian border is still waiting, although the modernization of this line is being prepared in the Czech Republic. It will enable an alternative connection between Prague and Vienna via Gmünd. The connection will be beneficial for both passenger and freight transport. The work should be completed in 2028.

"We don't forget about the railway either. Today, we signed a joint memorandum with the Gewessler Ministry in which we commit to modernize the railway line through České Velenice, known as the Franz-Josefs-Bahn," says Martin Kupka after the meeting at the Vienna Ministry of Transport.

Austrian Minister Gewessler said on her Twitter account, "The travel time from Vienna to Prague by rail will be reduced from 5 hours and 10 minutes to approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes. Starting next year, two trains will run there and back every day. We will sustainably strengthen public transport and offer people modern infrastructure and an attractive range of services. In the next few years, the Northern Railway will be upgraded to a speed of up to 200 kilometres per hour."

"The modernization of this line is key to the direct connection of important regional centres, such as Tulln in Austria or the Czech cities of Třeboň and Tábor. From next year, passengers from these cities can look forward to an extended connection through two pairs of trains a day," adds Minister Kupka. From December 2022, the connection here is provided by one direct pair of connections every day and a second pair of connections operated at the weekend. From 2024, they plan to add another pair of trains in both directions.

The construction of the high-speed railway connection Via Vindobona, which connects the Central European capitals of Berlin, Prague and Vienna, and the railway connection Prague - Linz - Salzburg was also discussed. Minister Kupka informed the Austrian Ministry Gewessler about the modernization of the IV railway corridor towards České Budějovice.

The plan also includes a direct connection between Vienna and Pilsen, expanding the Budejovice hub. The line should be extended in 2032. From Vienna to Pilsen, the journey time would be reduced by approximately 50 minutes to 5 hours.