Trains Return to Prague Semmering, Works Will End Next Year
On Tuesday 18 December in the evening, the train operation closure of more than three months on the line Praha-Smíchov – Hostivice, known also under the name the Prague Semmering, finally ended. Passengers arriving from Kladno and Hostivice thus acquired once again a fast train connection with Praha-Smíchov Station and the centre of Prague. Train operation was interrupted especially due to a reconstruction of two listed bridges spanning over Prokop Valley and Dalejský Creek. A new railway stop at Jinonice in the immediate vicinity of the Prague metro was built as well; the Žvahov and Stodůlky passing points were completely reconstructed.
”The main objective of the reconstruction was to extend the bridges’ lifetime and ensure railway operation safety on these. If the repairs did not take place, line speed would have to be decreased there very soon“, stresses Mr. Petr Hofhanzl, Director of the Civil Engineering Administration West. Both bridges are listed objects so that their reconstruction was carried out under preservationists’ supervision. Nevertheless it was possible to find a common ground both during project preparation and its implementation; the only complication was a bigger extent of construction works than originally planned which required extending the line closure by two weeks.
”After a long line closure, trains arriving from Hostivice are returning to their regular route through Praha-Smíchov to Praha-Hlavní nádraží (Prague Main Station). It is possible to change to these at Hostivice from trains arriving from Rudná u Prahy, Kladno and Rakovník as well as from Středokluky. A fast train connection from all these directions is thus being renewed to Praha-Smíchov and to Praha-Hlavní nádraží in the very centre of Prague“, says Mr. Petr Tomčík, Director of the ROPID company.
”Big thanks are due to Správa železniční dopravní cesty for launching intense repair works on railway lines in the whole Central Bohemia Region. Repairs are going on at dozens of places and will continue, it is a big change for the better“, says Mr. František Petrtýl, Councillor of Central Bohemia Region for the field of transport. A complete renewal of the Prague Semmering is also very important for Central Bohemia Region inhabitants; a big number of passengers from the Kladno region and the Western periphery of Prague changes every day at Hostivice to trains of the S65 line in direction to the city centre.
Passengers will notice changes also at railway stops Praha-Stodůlky and Praha-Žvahov where they can meet once again trains riding in the opposite direction after several years. The stops were equipped with lighting, new platforms and an information system for passengers. A quite new railway stop was built near the Metro station Jinonice. ”Trains will not stop on the site of the original station Praha-Jinonice anymore, the stop was relocated much closer to the Metro station in the immediate vicinity of new offices and flats which are being built on the site of the original Waltrovka factory“, says Mr. Jakub Goliáš, Director the regional ČD commercial centre. Night trains riding from the Main Station to Kladno which were diverted to a longer route through Rudná u Prahy also return to their regular routes.
Reconstruction of the line
Both bridges originate from 1872, with a length of 115 metres and 92 metres respectively. During the last three months, they were thoroughly rejuvenated, mostly concerning only railway superstructure which was removed, bridge arches were repaired and redeveloped. The damaged ledge stones were replaced and a new steel railing was installed. Steel construction was exchanged on the shorter bridge spanning over the line from Praha-Smíchov to Rudná u Prahy. During the months to follow, grouting into abutments’ and pillars’ masonry will now continue as well as redevelopment of fissures in arches’ and pillars’ masonry. All construction works on both bridges will be completed to the half of next year.
During the three-month closure period, the reconstruction project of current station and line signalling equipment on the whole line between Praha-Smíchov and Hostivice continued as well. Construction of technological buildings at Stodůlky and Jinonice is being finalized; technological buildings at Zličín and Žvahov were renewed. A digital radio GSM-R system is also being installed on the whole line; when the modernization is completed, operation will be controlled from the Traffic Control Centre situated in the Prague locality Balabenka.
The objective of the project Reconstruction of signalling equipment Praha-Smíchov – Hostivice is especially increasing line capacity as a diverting route for implementing constructions of the set Prague – Kladno. When modernization of the line Praha-Bubny - Hostivice is launched, a part of the trains will diverted precisely to this line.
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