Fast track from Prague to Austria

Modernisation of a railway line from České Budějovice to the state border with Austria will accelerate train journeys and increase capacity. The project focuses on the southern part of South Bohemia and will be completed by 2015.

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The work forms part of a series of nine separate rail-modernisation projects, which together create a direct connection between the Czech Republic’s capital, Prague, and South Bohemia and Austria. It is also a priority railway route on the so called TEN-T network, the scheme to improve the transport network across Europe.

EU standards for track upgrade

Part funded by the EU, and one of the Czech transport priorities, the project covers a stretch of line of just over 27.6 km. It runs from the town of České Budějovice, which has a population of over 95 000, to Horní Dvořiště, a hamlet on the state border with Austria. It is therefore a logical continuation of the modernisation work that started in 2008 on the line that runs all the way to Prague via Tabor.
The main goal of the project is to upgrade the track, related buildings and equipment. This will be done in line with various European standards and parameters – enabling both passenger and freight trains to run on international lines, as well as ensuring interoperability for train operators.
Notable track improvements will allow the running of trains with a 22.5 tonnes/axle load. Line speed will also be increased from 65 to 100 km/h. Modernisation will also cover everything from traction lines to telecommunication and signalling equipment.
While the project does not include installation of an automatic train protection system (ATP), there are national plans in the Czech Republic to add an advanced European rail-safety system (ERTMS/ETCS) on this rail route by the end of 2020.

Quicker journeys and greater capacity

Once completed, this project will speed up rail transport and increase the line’s capacity, with clear benefits for both national and international rail passengers and freight. In terms of time-savings alone, the project is expected to be worth almost a quarter of a million euro a year.
Further benefits include better rail transport safety and a reduced impact on the environment for rail transport in the South Bohemia region.

Total and EU funding

The Optimisation of the "Horní Dvořiště state border – České Budějovice railway line" project has a total eligible budget of EUR 50 646 800, with the Cohesion Fund contributing EUR 36 062 000 for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date