Správa železnic successfully continued Modernizing its Railway Network and Buildings Last Year

Almost 92 km of modernized lines put into operation, modernizations’ and reconstructions’ launch and continuation, further steps in preparing HSL pilot sections or record-breaking sums spent for reconstructions and repairs of station buildings with emphasis on barrier-free access. This is only a short enumeration of activities carried out by Správa železnic in the last year. In 2019, our organization invested by CZK 600 million more than in 2018. A sum of almost CZK 20 billion was invested only into railway infrastructure modernization (more specifically CZK 19.605 billion).

From the most important financial resources we can enumerate the national ones (more than CZK 11.5 billion) as well as EU funds from OPT2 programmes (more than CZK 5.2 billion) and CEF (more than CZK 2.7 billion). In several cases, our organization also used small contributions from the regions, cities and communities. The trend of financial means’ growth spent for preparation of further constructions continued last year as well. ”As fat as subsidies are concerned, we were able to use almost 99.8% of the maximum limit for all financial resources being at our disposal“, said Mr. Jiří Svoboda, Director General of Správa železnic.

From key constructions launched by Správa železnic last year, we can mention electrification of the lines Uničov – Olomouc (CZK 4.8 billion) and Šakvice – Hustopeče u Brna (CZK 1.7 billion); on Czech Transit Rail Corridor IV, modernization of the section Soběslav – Doubí u Tábora (CZK 4.9 billion), optimization of the line Praha-Smíchov – Černošice (CZK 3.7 billion) or Lysá nad Labem – Čelákovice (CZK 1.8 billion).

We were able to put into operation 91.2 km of modernized line sections, e.g. the following constructions: optimization of the line Český Těšín – Dětmarovice (21.0 km), modernization of the line Rokycany – Plzeň (14.1 km), Junction Plzeň, 2nd construction – reconstruction of passenger station including bridges Mikulášská (5.6 km) or increasing line speed in the section  Řikonín – Vlkov u Tišnova (9.9 km).

In the last year, Správa železnic also managed to finish a year-long closure at the main station in Brno. An extensive reconstruction of signalling equipment was carried out there; two historical bridges were reconstructed as well as a part of the station trackage including an exchange of twenty-two switch points. The reconstruction price exceeded a sum of CZK 2 billion.

An important result at the end of 2019 is acquiring the first two final decisions on positioning a construction in the Prague – Václav Havel Airport – Kladno railway connection project and the approval of three feasibility studies. This concerns specifically the study of a new route Prague – Beroun/Hořovice in its C-I variant corresponding to the project extent for a new, mostly tunnelled line with maximum line speed of 200 kph. The updating of the feasibility study for modernization of the line Plzeň – Domažlice – state border in its 3b variant was also approved as well as the last feasibility study Prague – Mladá Boleslav – Liberec in its Deko variant.

Further important line repairs continued
The infrastructure manager invested a sum of CZK 10.664 billion into repairs and maintenance. An important repair of a “Sázava Pacific” line part between Ledečko and Zruč nad Sázavou for CZK 687 million was completed last June. This allowed renewing operation in a section partially excluded due to many structural defects and eliminating slow rides there. A renovation of three passenger buildings was connected to this one: in Ledečko (CZK 8.5 million), Kácov (CZK 7.1 million) and Zruč nad Sázavou (CZK 4.7 million). Another important investment was the repair of the Železný Brod – Tanvald section for a price of CZK 411 million. Besides works on the railway superstructure and substructure, Správa železnic also adapted platforms at Velké Hamry Station and at three more railway stops.

Preparation of high-speed lines’ pilot sections accelerated
Last year, Správa železnic continued preparations of HSL pilot sections. It concluded a contract of cooperation with the French railway SNCF on preparation of HSL construction in the Czech Republic. With use of the unique Best Value Approach/Best Value Procurement method, it selected a supplier of the (Brno) – Přerov – Ostrava high-speed line feasibility study. Preparation moved to the terrain as well. During activities concerning geodetic bearing of the territory between Prosenice and Ostrava-Svinov, Modřice and Šakvice and between Praha-Běchovice and Poříčany, works on documentation for up to 130 km of new lines were launched. At the end of the year, a tender for elaborating documentation for the territorial decision to the first Praha-Běchovice – Poříčany HSL pilot section was launched.

Record-breaking sums spent for passenger buildings’ repairs and reconstructions
Dozens of passengers buildings throughout the whole country acquired a new shape. A record-breaking sum was spent in 2019 for station buildings’ repairs. From a total sum exceeding CZK 1.5 billion, more than 1.1 billion was designed for repairs, more than CZK 480 million was used for reconstructions’ preparation and implementation. For instance, the passenger buildings in Kolín (for CZK 76.8 million), in Frýdek-Místek (for CZK 16 million) or in Český Krumlov (for CZK 9.9 million) experienced important repairs.

Railway stations more accessible to impaired passengers
Thanks to its investment activities, Správa železnic increased the number of railway stations, stops and passenger buildings accessible to impaired passengers. Of the eighteen new constructions completed last year, the ones fully barrier-free are e.g. accesses to platforms at railway stations and stops between Řikonín and Vlkov u Tišnova, at Poříčany or into passenger buildings at Přibyslav and Břeclav. In the years to come, railway stations are going to be even more accessible to impaired passengers. Up to 2025, Správa železnic plans to increase the number of barrier-free platforms on backbone lines by more than 30%.

Checking bridges from prestressed concrete
Last year, Správa železnic continued also its checks of bridges from prestressed concrete which were launched in 2018 after collapses of bridges in Europe and in the Czech Republic. For the time being, the first 36 bridges were subject to more detailed diagnostics and static assessment. Final results will be at disposal during this year when checks or 27 more bridges and thus the whole programme’s completion are planned. All measures have a preventive character and all bridges’ technical and operational parameters are expected to be confirmed in order to exclude any risk of critical defects’ and malfunctions’ occurrence.

New logo and website
In connection with use of a new logo, we have started rebranding, launched a new website and completed it with new functionalities during the year so that our customers and passengers will be able to find a tool for finding connections of all passenger carriers, the trains’ position and information on separate railway stations including barrier-free access on our website. In connection with extensive modernization of the railway infrastructure and projects’ preparation, the website actively informs on planned constructions, extensive infrastructure projects including high-speed lines and ETCS implementation.

Timetable for 2020
The new timetable, valid as of mid-December last year, introduced many novelties and changes. This concerned especially more trains ordered, a wider range of alternative carriers and lines’ renumbering to provide a transparent and logical arrangement. All these challenges notwithstanding, Správa železnic coped with new timetable preparation comprehensively and flawlessly which was confirmed by subsequent experience.

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