Officials greenlight electric train connection between Vienna and Prague

The project will increase average train speeds, eliminate the need for a changeover near České Budějovice, and improve journey times.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 15.03.2024 11:53:00 (updated on 15.03.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Railway Administration (SŽ) has given the green light to a project enabling a direct, fully electrified railway line between Vienna and Prague. It will also see average train speeds rise to 120 kilometers per hour, cutting journey times.

Full electrification

The railway line between České Velenice and Veselí nad Lužnicí – a 55-kilometer section near the city of České Budějovice and close to the Austrian-Czech border – will be fully electrified, allowing trains from Austria to run without the need for a change (as is currently the case on some routes).

SŽ general director Jiří Svoboda posted on social media site X that the project will enable Prague-Vienna connections to be “faster, more comfortable, and safer.”

“The Nová Ves nad Lužnicí, Suchdol nad Lužnicí, Majdalena, Třeboň, and Lomnice nad Lužnicí stations will all undergo reconstruction, creating new platforms and tracks,” said SŽ spokesperson Nela Eberl Friebová in a press release.

If the project goes according to plan, construction will begin at the end of this year, and the renovated line should then be ready within four years of work beginning.

The South Bohemian section of the railway line has a rich history, dating back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, when it served as the second railway connection between Vienna and Prague. Today, it continues to be an important route for direct connections between the two cities.

Construction companies Sudop Praha and Sudop EU will take charge of the project; it will cost the SŽ about CZK 250 million. 

Other projects on track

This is not the only railway-related development that Czechia is working on. Officials are finalizing plans to start work on the country’s first-ever high-speed rail line, which would link Prague, Ústí nad Labem, and the German city of Dresden.

The reconstruction of the railway segment linking Prague's Bubny and Výstaviště is projected to start by mid-2025 – this is an important part of Prague’s early anticipated rail line that will link the airport directly with the city center (due to be complete by the end of the decade).

Also, this month, a new sleeper train service gets underway: it will connect Prague with Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, and other major European cities

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