Dolní Poustevna – Sebnitz line reopens after whole decades
Dolní Poustevna/Sebnitz, 4 July – A festive start of operation on the cross-border line leading to Dolní Poustevna was celebrated today in the German city of Sebnitz. Starting on the next day, regular passenger railway transport is going to return here. The new railway crossing’s opening will introduce a new line designated as U28 and connecting Děčín, Dolní Žleb, Bad Schandau, Sebnitz, Dolní Poustevna, Mikulášovice and Rumburk.
Railway operation on the cross-border line section between Dolní Poustevna and Sebnitz was stopped in 1945. The train connection renewal was started by the Railway Infrastructure Administration (SŽDC) already several years ago. This happened based on the Resolution of the Czech Government No 39/2006 and the Arrangement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany about border crossings on the common state border, dating from the same year.
Construction works as such took place in summer 2009 during a continuous line closure lasting 45 days. ”Besides reconstructing railway substructure and superstructure on several kilometres of the line, builders also concentrated on the Dolní Poustevna railway station where they built a level platform 45 metres long with a boarding edge 550 mm above the rail as well as a shelter for passengers”, says Mr. Pavel Surý, Director General of the Railway Infrastructure Administration. Furthermore, one bridge was repaired and several railway crossings were reconstructed on the adjoining line section. The German railway infrastructure manager has been assuring repairs since last year.
Eight new pairs of direct trains are going to be operated on the new rail connection. “We are very glad that Czech Railways together with DB Regio will be offering a regular railway connection to local inhabitants and visitors after so many years of petitioning. A railway line leading through Germany will offer shorter travel times to passengers from the Šluknov headland while travelling to Děčín. More specifically, travel times for Dolní Poustevna citizens will be reduced by half,” says Mr. Daniel Kurucz, Director General of Czech Railways. Travels from Dolní Poustevna to Děčín used to take 133 minutes; starting from 5 July 2014, passengers will ride between both localities 65 minutes only.