Railway to Prague's airport makes progress

Designs for a part of the underground tunnels will be made

The railway to Václav Havel Airport Prague is one step closer to becoming reality. It is now clear who will design the project and create the documentation for the territorial management of the complicated section between Výstaviště in Prague 7 and Veleslavín.

The firms Metroprojekt and Sudop won the tender and will create this documentation for Kč 64.6 million.

“The construction will be the most complicated between the newly built Praha-Výstaviště stop and the Praha-Veleslavín station. The trains will go mostly underground; only on a short stretch from Výstaviště to Stromovka park will the track follow along the surface,” Mojmír Nejezchleb, deputy director of railways modernization at the Railway Infrastructure Administration (SŽDC), told the press.

The Railway Infrastructure Administration (SŽDC) has divided the project into stages.

In the first stage, a geological exploration should be carried out and transport technology should be clarified. This has to be done within seven months.

The Environmental Impact Assessment then has to be done and should be completed in 28 months.

Two months later, the preparatory documentation should be combined with other documents and the builders will file a for a territorial decision.

If everything is successful, the territorial decision will become final at the end of 2020.

A feasibility study for the rail line was approved three years ago, and the SŽDC is updating it. Construction could start in 2024 and in December 2028 should enter service. Some technical issues such as reducing vibrations still needs to be resolved.

The railway from the existing tunnel on the edge of Stromovka will go underground to the Praha-Dejvice station, which will be moved closer to the existing vestibule of the metro A line's Hradčanská station. From there it will continue in double track tunnels to the Praha-Veleslavín station.

Václav Havel Airport has a new station called Praha-Václav Havel Airport on a new spur line. Partway on the spur line is the stop Praha-Dlouhá míle and it joins the main track at the station Praha-Ruzyně. Trains can run at speeds up to 80 kilometers per hour. The new railway line between Praha-Ruzyně and Praha-Václav Havel Airport is about 5.5 kilometers.

Renovation of the line from Prague's Masarykovo nádraží to Kladno and the creation of the spur to Václav Havel Airport will bring a change of power supply from 3 kV DC to 25 kV AC.

This brings several technical benefits such as longer spaces between power plants. The SŽDC hopes to unify all electric rail lines to 25 kV in the future. The system is used widely in the southern part of the Czech Republic

With the modernized line, people should get from Masarykovo nádraží to Kladno in 27 minutes.

The modernized railway should increase the number of people using rail to get from Kladno to Prague to some 24,000 per day by 2052 as opposed to 9,000 now.

The railway project has long been delayed. It was first mentioned in the 1990s and was supposed to be operational by 2013.

Extending the A line of the metro system to the airport and building tram tracks have also been discussed as an alternative to the buses that now go between the airport and Nádraží Veleslavín.

The buses become increasingly crowded as the airport expands its capacity.

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