Festive completion of the international project of the revitalization of the railway section Szklarska Poreba – Harrachov
Szklarska Poreba/Kořenov, 2 July 2010 – After 65 years a special train was dispatched on the railway line Szklarska Poreba - Harrachov as a forerunner launching regular operation. The revitalisation of this international line has been completed successfully. Most of the railway line (13,2 km) Szklarska Poreba Górna – Harrachov lies on the territory of Poland, the Czech section is 1,1 km long.
The main benefit of the accomplished project is the interconnection of the Polish and the Czech side of the Jizerské Mountains and the Krkonoše Mountains. At the same time, a significant and the only railway connection within the Euro-Region Nisa between Liberec – Jablonec conurbation and the area Jelení Mountain has been established. This creates conditions to enhance attractiveness of the location in terms of tourism and to promote cross-border tourism on both the Czech and Polish side of the frontier. Another benefit shows the regular traffic link between Kořenov and Szklarska Poreba. There will also be better traffic accessibility to the Centre of winter sports in Jakuszyce which is one of the main centres of cross-country skiing on Polish territory.
The line revitalisation shall ensure the line speed of 40 to 50 km/hour in summer and winter. The project also allows dispatching special and touring trains on various occasions on both sides of the border (e.g. sports events).
The revitalisation also involved repairing the railway superstructure and substructure on km 39,020 – 40,111 in the section Harrachov – state border and of switch No. 2 at the railway station Harrachov on line 036. It was necessary to clean the ballast bed and to replace sleepers and rails completely. In an approximately 500m-long section a continuous welded rail was made by attaching sleeper spades and welding rail joints and structure gauge was restored by clearing the vegetation. Sleepers were replaced on switch No.2 and switch elements were restored. In the section of line 311 state border – Szklarska Poreba km 29,844 – 43,138, ballast bed was cleaned and sub-ballast layers were drained; superstructure was fully replaced, level crossings repaired, the train stop Szklarska Poręba Huta was built and the operating control post Jakuszyce was restored.
History of the section Tanvald – Jelení Mountain (Jelenia Góra)
The railway line Tanvald – Jelení Mountain was built in the period 1899 – 1902 as a connecting line Austria-Hungary (Liberec Region and Jablonec Region) and Silesia (Jelenia Góra – German Hirschberg). In order to overcome the gradient of up to 58 %o, the double-track Abt rack in the track axis was used in the section Tanvald – Kořenov. The track was much used for freight and passenger transport between Lower Silesia and Liberec Region. The line electrification was completed between Kořenov and Jelení Mountain in 1923. The whole railway line was negatively affected by World War II and its consequences. The regular cross-border operation on the section Harrachov – Szklarska Poreba was interrupted in 1945. The 90´s revived the idea of restoring the cross-border operation on the line, nevertheless the railway line on the Czech side in the section Tanvald – Harrachov was dealing with the threat of terminating the passenger transport.
Till 1959, the Polish section had reached km 34,792, i.e. ca 500 m behind the railway station Kořenov. A part of the line from km 34,792 to km 40,111 (currently the state border) was acquired including the railway station Harrachov (former Mýtiny) in 1959 under the territorial compensation with Poland. From Szklarska Poreba to Jakuszyce, freight transport had been operated till 2001 when necessary. In Jakuszyce there are two stone pits and these trains were operated on their industrial track.
On Polish territory, the owner of the line has been Województwo Dolnoslaskie since January 2008 and its administrator is Dolnoslaska Sluzba Dróg i Kolej. On Czech territory, the owner of the line is the Railway Infrastructure Administration, state organization.
The Revitalisation of the railway section Szklarska Poreba – Harrachov is co-funded from the Operational programme Cross-border Cooperation Czech Republic – Republic of Poland 2007 – 2013. Subsidies from this programme represent 85% of the eligible costs; the remaining 15% is co-funded from national resources. The cost of the whole project totals 5 061 250 EURO, whereas SŽDC´s share is 800 000 EURO. The implementation of the project started in December 2008 and was completed in August 2010. The revitalisation work was carried out from September 2009 till June 2010.
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