Czech Republic promotes Corridor E
Czech Republic promotes Corridor E
Prague, 23/02/2010 – The European Railway Network may soon become a full competitor to international expressway routes that might be replaced by the railway in areas where the road network is heavily overloaded and its operation has negative impacts on the environment. However, it is necessary to upgrade the main railway paths and especially to eliminate barriers at the borders of respective states. This – besides other measures – should be promoted by an integrated system ETCS (European Train Control System).
Ing. Jan Komarek, Director General of the Railway Infrastructure Administration, state organization, organized a High-Level Meeting of Corridor E Infrastructure CEOs – infrastructure managers aiming to accelerate the efforts to deploy the ETCS system on Corridor E and to sign a common declaration acknowledging the coordinated approach. On 10th February representatives of DB Netz (Germany), ŽSR (Slovakia), ÖBB (Austria), MÁV (Hungary), CFR SA (Romania) met in Zaječí (Moravia) and the invitation was also accepted by Karl Vinck, Corridor coordinator of the European Commission, who participated in signing the first memorandum in 2005, and by Mr. Libor Lochman, representative of CER (Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies).
Plenty of documentation of the European Commission shows the intent to shift up to 20% of freight from roads to the railway, particularly concerning the middle- and long-distance transport. For that reason railway projects contributing to this objective have been supported. In 2005 the Memorandum on enlarging the interoperable European system ETCS on six international corridors was signed in Brussels. Corridor E (Dresden – Prague – Bratislava /Vienna – Budapest) passes through the Czech Republic; in 2009 it was enlarged from Budapest via Bucharest as far as Constanta, which will contribute to connecting North-European Ports with the Black Sea and at the same time to providing better railway connection of Central European countries.
Transit of the so-called Corridor E via the Czech Republic
The significance and the common goal to build an interoperable ETCS Corridor E mainly lie in radical improvement of conditions for passenger and freight transport. Better quality of service, particularly in freight, will enhance the competitiveness of the railway transport. It will help to better utilize the current path capacity, to allow a more effective use of the current infrastructure and to create conditions for its further development. Positive support of the European ETCS Corridor E development is an important common goal.
The period of 2005 to 2008 mainly focused on monitoring true conditions and development goals on the section which resulted in the Study of Corridor E. At the level of the Ministers of Transport the Letter of Intent was signed through which the involved member states committed themselves to support this project. After that the Common Funding Request document was developed and it became a basic material for national requests for co-funding the ETCS deployment from the European TEN-T fund for the support and speed-up of the ETCS deployment. An important step will be to connect Corridor E with Corridor F on German territory, which will accomplish the connecting line of the North-European Ports with the Black Sea.
If we have put great effort into the preparation of the intent and the conditions for the modernization of Corridor E and the related ETCS implementation so far, then from 2010 till 2015 we will have to face another challenge to the implementation of our declared intents in a coordinated way in order to achieve a truly continuous interoperable corridor and not just a few isolated national sections equipped with ETCS without any mutual links incapable of interoperability.
Conclusion of the meeting – signing the common declaration, endorsing the deployment
of the ETCS system on Corridor E