The biggest players in the Czech railways signed a memorandum on improving the connection Prague – Munich
Prague, 24 June 2016 – Today, directors of the Railway Infrastructure Administration, Czech Railways (ČD), and ČD Cargo signed a memorandum on cooperation in pursuit of a fundamental improvement of connection between Prague and Munich. On this line, the travel time is nearly six hours, which makes the railway transport uncompetitive. The unelectrified single-track section from Pilsen to Regensburg, which includes several dead points, is absolutely unable to attract customers of both passenger and freight transport.
“That is why we joined the memorandum. Flows of goods and materials between the Czech Republic and Bavaria take place mainly on the road today,” said Chairman of the Board of ČD Cargo, a.s. Ivan Bednárik. “The Czech Republic did not develop its infrastructure sufficiently and in time and therefore the international freight transport misses our territory. Today, western carriers commonly make up trains with a length of 820 metres, which is unthinkable for us.”
For Czech Railways, international transport represents a dynamically growing segment which generates high revenues. Therefore, the national carrier has established a long-term cooperation with DB focused on the quality of services and connections between Prague, Berlin, and Hamburg.
In terms of international lines, however, an equally important connection is also the line Prague – Munich. The pressure on the Bavarian and federal authorities have recently increased also from the Czech Republic’s supreme authorities. The aim is to get this connection among the priorities of the German Federal Transport Infrastructure Development Plan (Bundesverkehrwegeplan).
“Our organization plans to improve the infrastructure parameters of the Czech line section, however, it is undoubtedly important that the German side also pushes for modernization
of the related lines leading from the Czech Republic to Munich. Our today's initiative is a message that we take the agreements between the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and Chancellor Merkle, as well as the agreements between Ministers of Transport on improving rail connections seriously,” said Pavel Surý, Director General of the RIA.
“I recently attended the opening of the Gotthard tunnel located on the north-south axis between Frankfurt and Milan. It may seem that this is not important for the Czech Railways, but the opposite is true. It means that we must increase the pressure on modernization of the east – west connection, to which we logically belong. Otherwise, we will remain cut off and the interstate long-distance transport will miss us. If we manage to shorten the travel time between Prague and Munich from the current six hours to four and a half, many people would prefer trains before cars and planes,” added Chairman and Director General of ČD, a.s. Pavel Krtek.
“We will immediately communicate the signed memorandum with foreign partners, especially in Germany and in Brussels - both between MEPs, as well as in the European Commission and CER, and try to lobby for prioritisation of this connection in the plan” said Roman Štěrba, Member of the Board of ČD, a.s. responsible for projects and international relations.
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