New Line Prague – Dresden Feasibility Study Entered Its Second Stage
The new railway connection Prague – Dresden feasibility study entered its next phase. The company CEDOP and the French group Egis Rail completed its first partial stage. The complete study will be finished to the end of this June. Construction of the new line between the Czech and Saxon capitals will bring not only a competitive connection of these two cities but also a connection of the Czech Republic to the high-speed network in Germany. It will include a cross-border tunnel 26 kilometres long under Krušné hory (Ore Mountains) which will also serve freight transport.
”A complex evaluation of the first stage unequivocally recommended a change of the RS4 route between Prague and Dresden so that the city of Ústí nad Labem may be served on this line because a new central passenger station for trains from all directions will be built there“, specified Mr. Jiří Svoboda, Director General of SŽDC. Thanks to long-term activities of geological services which are a part of the Czech-Saxon project, current pieces of knowledge from engineering geological studies were used for the evaluation as well. These also recommend passing through České středohoří (Central Bohemian Highlands) by the Eastern route being much more advantageous than using the Western route as documented in the Territorial Development Principles of the Ústí nad Labem Region.
Compared to previous estimations, original outputs of transport flows’ prognoses for 2050 submitted by the compiler of the study with tens of thousands passengers running daily between Prague and Ústí nad Labem were perceived as overrated. In cooperation of all parties concerned including the Ministry of Transport, all uncertain aspects were cleared and despite corrections being carried out, no substantial change of the line’s estimated use by passengers occurred. The operational and technical solution submitted by the compiler was evaluated in the stage as economically effective.
According to present outputs, operating the line in mixed transport together with transport of goods shows as very advantageous in less used line sections for purposes of the new line and its implementation’s benefits optimal use. Besides the cross-border tunnel under Krušné hory, this concerns e.g. the so-called Litoměřice tunnel or the transport route RS42 to Most.
In the second stage of the study, partial sub-variants of the proposal will be examined and evaluated based on Option 2 of the of the study’s first stage and different ways for phasing the whole construction intent are going to be compared. There are several dozens of technical and operational modifications under examination, let it be a draft of new short line connections, alternatives for passing the river Labe (Elbe) in Ústí nad Labem or introducing new lines for passenger transport.
After the proposed constructions’ implementation, a quite substantial reduction of journey times to 30 minutes or less will occur not only on the Prague – Ústí nad Labem and Ústí nad Labem – Dresden connections but also between Prague and Litoměřice and thanks to the secondary route RS42 also between Prague and Louny or Most. RS42 will therefore serve also as a ground for a possible competitive railway connection from Prague to Karlovy Vary.
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