CZ/SK verze

The City of Pilsen is increasing the pressure on the Czech Government to return the project of the high-speed line Prague – Pilsen – Nuremberg to the government concept, the Liberec Region does not want to be left behind either

The City of Pilsen is increasing the pressure on the Czech Government to return the project of the high-speed line Prague – Pilsen – Nuremberg to the government concept, the Liberec Region does not want to be left behind either
photo: being prepared constructions
24 / 05 / 2021

The topic of the construction of high-speed lines moves the Czech Republic. The management of the city of Pilsen is increasing its pressure on the government and on the railway infrastructure manager – Správa železnic (SŽ) to return to the concept of so-called fast connections the Prague – Pilsen – Nuremberg route, which has been studied in the past but is not currently planned by the Czech or German governments.

This was confirmed by SŽ, with the fact that it is preparing only partial constructions within the conventional railway line within this route, which will lead to an improvement of the railway connection, but it will not be a full-fledged high-speed line, which is otherwise being designed up to 320 km/h. Currently, the construction solutions on the route in question include double-track, electrification and speed increases of up to 200 km/h.

Pilsen is the 4th largest city in the Czech Republic and according to the current concept, all high-speed lines will pass this city. "The VRT route bypasses our industrial city, which would lead to its inclusion in second-class cities. The economic prosperity of medieval Pilsen was based on its location on the historical trade route Prague – Pilsen – Nuremberg, as well as the prosperity of Pilsen Skoda since the construction of the railway," Miloš Nový, representative for the political party TOP 09, said at the council meeting.

"If the Správa železnic´s plan were to become a reality, there is a risk that the blockage of land that is still earmarked for the construction of these lines, and for our city this would be a major disaster," he said. He added that there is a risk that Pilsen would be avoided by major investors and that qualified intelligence would leave. He asked Deputy Mayor for Transport Michal Vozobule (TOP 09) to deal with the authorities concerned and try to change their positions. Mayor Martin Baxa (for the ODS political party) called this an unpleasant fact.

He sees the construction of high-speed lines as a very promising project, although he estimated its implementation in the reality of our country with exaggeration for 2070. "It's not total science fiction. The state has advanced in some parts of high-speed lines by commissioning feasibility studies and is even starting to put one part into the construction procedure," said Vozobule, who has already contacted representatives of SŽ.

"We have agreed to convene a meeting to meet with a representative of the Správa železnic from the central office in charge of high-speed lines and to explain it to us," he said. After that, they will prepare either an informative report or material to the city council, in which the statutory city would comment on the fact that it has dropped out of the VRT plan and declare that it is interested in the project.

SŽ is going to invest the most in the section between Prague and Pilsen so that the travel time is reduced to less than one hour so that it can be competitive with road transport and the parallel D5 motorway. This will be made possible by the planned new building in the section Praha-Smíchov – Beroun, which consists of a railway tunnel almost 25 km long. In 2018, the construction of the Ejpovický tunnel just outside Pilsen, where the maximum speed is 200 km/h, was carried out on this route.

In the Pilsen – Domažlice – state border section towards Munich, higher track parameters are also not considered, as neighbouring Germany is not considering a high-speed line either. Four sections of high-speed lines are currently being prepared in the Czech Republic. These are sections Prague - Brno - Ostrava, Brno - Šakvice, Prague - Usti nad Labem - Dresden with the Bříza - Most and Prague - Hradec Králové - Wroclaw branches. The preparation of so-called fast connections, which include high-speed lines, was approved by the government on 22 May 2017.

The Liberec Region, which aims to build a high-speed line on the Prague – Mladá Boleslav – Liberec route and further towards the German-Polish border town of Görlitz/Zgorzelec, also expressed its opposition to the government concept of fast connections. The Liberec Region initiates the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation together with the Central Bohemian Region, Prague and local governments within 3 countries – the Czech Republic, Germany and Poland. This document is currently submitted to the relevant councils for approval. Subsequently, the plan is to send it to the Czech Ministry of Transport. The Memorandum proposes cooperation in the preparation of the line and in the effort to include it in the main trans-European transport network TEN-T. This is the only way to draw on the construction of the line with subsidies from structural European funds.

The aim is to promote the construction of a high-speed railway that would follow the D10 motorway and be competitive with its speed. According to the document, this line would also be beneficial for regional transport in connection with Prague due to its parameters. The fast rail connection from Prague to Liberec has been under review for decades and, unfortunately, so far to no avail. Most recently, this route was checked as part of a high-speed route from Prague to Wroclaw, Poland. But it will eventually lead through Hradec Králové. Among the currently planned constructions between Prague and Liberec are currently only partial constructions within the conventional railway network around Mladá Boleslav, the so-called "railway network". Všejanská and Bezděčín link.