Train to Ruzyne Airport is a theme that has been filling news pages since the early 1990s. In connection to free borders, an increase in tourism and thanks to economic growth, the number of passengers who travel to Ruzyně airport since then has increased. Buses are still the only form of public transportation available.
The only difference is that over the years the old Karosas and Ikaruses have been replaced by low-floor articulated buses. “The well-known railway body is supposed to be used very intensively not only for connection with Kladno but also for high-speed connection of the city center to the Ruzyne airport,” wrote the newspaper on November 5, 1991.
It was typical for the following period to keep alternating the plans to build and operate the railway with a metro line, and it would probably be too difficult to trace back what has been the motivation behind the years of inactivity.
„The ever delayed completion date is being changed especially by the fact that politicians have identified a higher priority in other transportation projects within Prague and its surroundings in the long term. The cause may also be a bit surprising – indirect lobbying of taxi drivers,” explains political scientist Jan Kubáček.
According to him, there could be a connection of taxi companies to operators of other services in the past, such as accommodation. And if, for example, hotel operators sponsored some politicians, it might not have been hard to lobby politicians for taxi drivers, whose business would be undoubtedly jeopardized by the train connection to the airport.
New zoning decisions
It has been certain for a long time that a train connection to the airport will be established. It is a matter of time now. The first tangible or visible evidence that the Railway Administration (former SŽDC) is serious about the airport train project is the reconstruction of the Negrelli Viaduct. It started in 2017 and was due to be completed last year; after some delay, railway administrators set a deadline for completion this spring.
There is always something going on with the project. The next expected events include the discussion of the solution of the Dejvice – Veleslavín section with the Prague 6 Assembly, which will take place on February 20th.
The administration also boasts some recent successes. For example, in December the zoning permit was granted to the Prague-Výstaviště – Prague-Bubny section and in November the Kladno – Kladno – Ostrovec section.
„Except for the final reconstruction of the Negrelli Viaduct, the Kladno section is the first one to which we received a zoning decision in preparation for the railway to the airport. This is an important milestone in the entire investment,” explains Jiří Svoboda, General Director of the Railway Administration.
Meanwhile, the management of the metropolis works with the date of completion of the train connection to Václav Havel Airport in 2028.