Rail line upgrade heralds improved service

Bringing a stretch of railway line in the Czech Republic up to European Standards is expected to cut journey times and increase capacity. Upgrading the track between the towns of Zbiroh and Rokycany is also set to improve rail safety and reduce the line’s environmental impact.

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This project is for the modernisation of 21.66 km of line and related telecommunications and signalling equipment. The revamp increases line speeds to 80-160 km/hour. When operational, the upgraded line should deliver estimated time savings of EUR 9.83 million/year.

Wider scheme

The work is part of a wider four-stage scheme to upgrade the railway line between Prague and Pilsen. This route forms part of the European Union’s trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), which aims to ensure that people and goods can move more easily in and between Member States.

The modernisation also complies with many European specifications for railway interoperability, the goal of which is to harmonise railway systems across the continent. The European Train Control System (ETCS) will be installed on the line by 2020. ETCS is designed to improve signalling systems in order to increase rail safety. It forms a key part of the European Rail Traffic Management System, which is being put into operation across Europe.

The Czech government owns the railway line, which is managed and operated by the Railway Infrastructure Administration. Operation and maintenance of some of the communications equipment and information equipment for passengers is provided on a contractual basis by ČD-Telematika a.s. Operation of the railway transport route, plus maintenance and repairs of other communications, information and blocking equipment are provided by the railway operator – as are the electrical, engineering and power facilities.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Optimisation of the railway line Zbiroh – Rokycany” is EUR 221 044 198, with the EU’s Cohesion Fund contributing EUR 119 788 116 through the “Transport” Operational Programme” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period, under the “Upgrading and Development of the TEN-T Railway Network” priority.

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