Enhanced Czech rail connections to Germany

A key 32-km stretch of railway line in the Czech Republic has been upgraded along the westernmost section of the nation’s third railway transit corridor. The project significantly speeds up journeys between the capital Prague and neighbouring German cities such as Nuremberg and Dresden, and benefits the wider trans-European transport network (TEN-T).

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Spread over three years, the work took place between the towns of Stříbro and Planá u Mariánských Lázní. It included improvements to the rail track and related infrastructure, bringing them up to the latest European standards.

Track and infrastructure improved

The project focused on the line between the small towns of Stříbro and Planá u Mariánských Lázní, in the southern part of Plzeňsko Region. It is one of nine separate modernisation projects along the Prague-Plzeň-Cheb rail route, which continues westwards across the Czech border into Germany. The main goals were to upgrade this stretch of railway line and its infrastructure, enhancing travel speed and comfort for people across the region and beyond.

Partly funded by the EU, the project started in mid-2008 after completion of technical and feasibility studies. Contractors upgraded track superstructure on the main rails to an international heavy-duty standard, which is capable of carrying high-speed trains and a 22.5 tonne axle load. They also modernised traction lines, telecommunication and signalling equipment, and related infrastructure. Eight level crossings were reconstructed and modified.

Faster transport

Thanks to the new infrastructure, top speeds along this line stretch will be increased by as much as 50 km/hour enabling the fastest trains to travel at 140 km/hour. As a result, the project will cut journey times for passengers and freight using the Prague-Cheb rail route between the Czech Republic and Germany.

Faster, smoother transport and increased capacity on this rail line will bring major social and economic benefits for local communities. It should also foster traffic and trade on the long-distance TEN-T railway axis from Athens in Greece to Dresden in Germany. Further expected benefits include substantial operating cost savings on this line, and a reduced external impact of rail transport on the environment.

Preparation of safety and communication equipment has readied the line for installation of the most modern European Rail Traffic Management System/European Train Control System by the end of 2020. This upgrade will allow the smooth and safe passage of all compatible European trains.


Draft date

21/02/2011