The journey from Prague city center to Václav Havel Airport in Ruzyně should take 25 minutes on the railway line, then half an hour from Prague to Kladno. The modernization of the line connecting Prague and Kladno with a junction to the airport should be completed in 2028. Only a part of the railway Negrelli Viaduct, costing almost CZK 40 billion, is now being developed.
According to railway director Mojmír Nejezchleb, the current railway preparations have been the furthest since the line began to be considered. He pointed out that this is one of the most complicated projects that the Railway Infrastructure Administration (SŽDC) is currently addressing. “The building is going through a very complex territory. Due to the double track, extensive property settlement and land-use proceedings will be required,” he explained.
SŽDC has divided the line modernization into seven sections. The Negrelli Viaduct section is under construction so far and will be completed by June next year. SŽDC is now handling the zoning proceedings for sections connecting Prague’s Bubny and Výstaviště, then Prague-Ruzyně-Kladno, and Kladno to Ostrovec. These parts should be completed by 2024.
Southern tunnel option
The construction of sections between Veleslavin and the airport and Veleslavin and the Výstaviště will be the most time-demanding parts, as well as the most expensive. The organization has presented a new solution for the Výstaviště-Veleslavín section on Wednesday, the majority of which will be led via a tunnel. SŽDC chose the southern variant, which will lead under the Střešovice massif. The tunnels will be excavated at a depth of up to 80 meters underground. A day later, the state organization together with representatives of Prague 6 will present the project to the public.
Nejezchleb recalled that the new track will allow speeds of up to 120 km/h in Prague and 160 km/h outside of Prague. The journey from Prague’s Masaryk Station to the airport should take about 25 minutes, and the connection between Prague and Kladno should be completed in half an hour. SŽDC is now also examining the possibility of connecting the airport to a high-speed line; which will be decided based on the findings of the studies.
Large Veleslavín parking lot
Among the main benefits of the new line, the conference participants included, in addition to the connection of the airport and Kladno with the center of Prague, the further development of Prague airport, whose operation, according to the Ministry of Transport, could double in fifteen years. The advantage should also be ecological because the new line should reduce some of the car traffic as well as the development of parts of Prague which the railways will lead through.
Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě) has also mentioned that the municipality could use part of the upcoming line for the future metro line. Prague plans to build a large parking lot together with SŽDC near Veleslavín. It is currently planned to hold more than a thousand vehicles, but it could be extended up to five thousand cars in the future.
The modification of a single-track and non-electrified line to Kladno with a branch to Prague airport has been in preparation for many years. The new connection is to be electrified, guided by two rails and should allow a 10-minute interval of trains to and from the airport to Kladno.