An upgrade to the railways around Prague
Located within the Prague railway network, the 10.27 km stretch of line between Úvaly and Běchovice is a key part of the Trans-European Transport Network and Prague's transport system. The poor condition of facilities such as platforms and information systems, restricted platform access, and long travelling times have necessitated upgrades to the section. This should improve the quality of service for passengers and cut journey times.
The Úvaly-Běchovice connection lies on the outskirts of the Czech capital. High numbers of passengers and significant volumes of freight travel on this line. The project aims to increase track speed to up to 160 km/h, shorten journey times, improve safety, and widen access for passengers with reduced mobility.
Improvements under the project should contribute to making the railways in the Prague region a more attractive means of transport. In turn, this should increase their competitiveness, with a greater use of railways also bringing ecological benefits.
Meeting the technical requirements
Comprehensive upgrades to infrastructure and equipment are intended to bring them into line with current requirements. The track yard, road crossing and safety devices at Úvaly station have been completely renovated, as have the heavy- and light-current power cable network, including telecommunications and safety cabling. This is preparing the way for future implementation of the European Rail Traffic Management System.
A new track superstructure with increased abrasion resistance has been laid in some areas, while improvements have been made to existing superstructures. A new platform has been built and platforms and bridges have been renovated. New switch equipment for guiding trains from one track to another has been installed and noise-reduction barriers have been built. The loading gauge has been increased to enable larger trains and loads to use the line.
Without this, it is likely that the condition of the facilities would have deteriorated further, particularly if equipment had remained in use well beyond the end of its normal lifetime.
Within the Trans-European Transport Network, the Úvaly-Běchovice stretch is part of the priority to develop railway connections linking Athens, Sofia, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Nuremberg and Dresden. It is a triple-track line running through both the Prague Capital Region and the Central Bohemian Region.
The section's high volumes of passenger transport include suburban and urban trains, longer-distance regional links to towns such as Kolín and Nymburk, connections to cities in other regions, including Brno and Ostrava, and international links to Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia. As regards freight, the section plays an important role with respect to transit within and towards the Czech Republic's main railway corridors.
The project is one of five projects aimed at upgrading the national railway corridor which passes through Prague. It is partly self-financing, generating revenue from fares.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for the project “Upgrading of the line section Praha Běchovice – Úvaly” is EUR 81 000 000, with the EU’s Cohesion Fund contributing EUR 46 593 855 through the “Transport” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.