Prague plans 20 new train stops

A suit is already delaying the ambitious plan to ease the trip for commuters

Prague has plans to expand train service by 2030 with 20 new railway stations. But there are already problems with the first planned stations at Eden and Zahradní Město. They will not go into service for at least five years, and the antitrust office (ÚOHS) is dealing with issues concerning them.

Commuter trains to Prague are already busy and there is no capacity for new connections, Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR) spokesman Marek Vácha told daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD).

By 2030, a substantial part of Prague's railway tracks should be modernized. The most discussed improvement is a section of track to Kladno with a branch to Václav Havel Airport Prague. Other sections up for modernization are between Vysočany and Lysá nad Labem and from the main railway station in the direction of Radotín and Hostivař.

The modernization of the Hostivař section was due to begin this year, following a tender for Kč 3.5 billion. However, an unsuccessful bidder complained to ÚOHS. The Railway Infrastructure Administration (SŽDC) cannot conclude a contract with the winning bidder until the case is resolved, which might not happen this year, MfD reported citing a SŽDC source.

This route includes stops at Eden and Zahradní Město, which would improve connections between commuter trains and Prague's public transit system. At the same time, the station at Strasnice should disappear due to concerns over excessive noise. Construction should take three and a half years. The stations likely will not go into operation before 2022.

Another planned new station is next to the Rajská zahrada metro station in Prague, and the train station will be connected to the metro station with a footbridge. Plans were shown in 2014 but the start date is not certain and permission to build the bridge has not been issued. The track goes in the direction of Lysá nad Labem.

Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD) said 2023 would be an optimistic date for the end of construction.

The station would be useful not only to commuters from outside the city but also for people at the northeastern part of Prague as it could reduce travel time to the center.

The time frame for increasing the capacity of the steel railway bridge on Výton, which has been a cultural monument since 2004, is also uncertain. A survey is being made, and there is a possibility that a second railway bridge could be built if the capacity of the existing one can't be increased.

There is also disagreement over whether a new station can be built at Výton. Preservationists oppose it because it would damage the historic bridge and its stonework. A decision has not yet been made, according to the SŽDC.

Repairs to Smíchov station (Nádraží Praha-Smíchov) and the track at the main railway station can only begin after the reconstruction of the Hostivař section, which will be after 2022.

Overall, some 20 stations are under consideration in the city's master urban plan to relieve public transport and also serve commuters from Central Bohemia, MfD reported.

Other proposed stops include Bubny, Výstaviště, Karlín, Liboc, Jahodnice, Kbely, Hostivice, Libeň and Spořilov.

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