SNCF Network assists in Czech high-speed rail construction
Správa Železnic, the Czech railway infrastructure manager, has entrusted its French counterpart SNCF Réseau with a mission to assist in managing its high-speed line construction projects. A 8.5 million euro contract was signed on 20 October for a period of 8 years, until the first line is commissioned in 2029.
By 2040, the Czech Republic plans to build 660 kilometres of high-speed lines. For this 18 billion project, the Czech infrastructure manager calls in on of SNCF Réseau’s know-how. They have more than 50 years of experience in the design and operation of high-speed railways.
Jiří Svoboda, Managing Director of Správa Železnic, considers the conclusion of the contract to be an important milestone in the preparation. “If we want to adhere to the current work schedule and start construction of the first high-speed sections in 2025, we need quality experts with experience in preparing and operating such lines.”
The first of the planned Czech high-speed lines, a four-track line between Prague-Běchovice and Poříčany, is currently being designed by a Czech-French-British consortium. The Czech are also collaborating with Germany’s DB Netz for a new cross-border railway from Prague to Dresden.
SNCF Réseau will provide consulting services for the next stages of the high-speed rail preparation. The two infrastructure managers will collaborate in the field of processing documentation for zoning decisions, and creating internal regulations for high-speed rail operation. The contract also presupposes regular communication and supervision during the construction of the lines themselves, their commissioning, maintenance and inspection.
The involvement of experts who have extensive experience in the design and operation of this technically advanced system will minimise the risk of errors, says the Czech infrastructure manager. The correction of those errors would increase the cost of project implementation.
Link between Prague and Paris
Technical support for foreign infrastructure managers is an integral part of SNCF Réseau’s development strategy. “For several years now, we have been supporting infrastructure managers and project owners internationally in their projects”, says Luc Lallemand, Chairman and CEO of SNCF Réseau. “We will be working alongside Správa Železnic and its team to launch high-speed rail in the Czech Republic: this project is one more step towards a European rail system.”
Jiri Svoboda, Managing Director of Správa Železnic: “We are open to European challenges, including new technologies, the Green Deal and digitalisation. We are now entering a new phase of cooperation for the preparation of the Czech high-speed rail, at the end of which there will be a direct link between Prague and Paris.”