Prague to Beroun in 13 minutes: New rail tunnel would speed up journey time

The project is part of Czechia's larger plans to expand its rail infrastructure, making journey times to destinations like the airport and Dresden shorter. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 15.09.2023 12:30:00 (updated on 15.09.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The ambitious Beroun Tunnel project in Czechia – seeking to connect the capital with the Central Bohemian town of Beroun via a 13-minute train journey – has taken a significant step forward. The Czech Railway Administration has submitted documentation to initiate the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, a necessary step during the construction process. This new initiative is poised to transform the country's railway network and enhance regional transportation.

The EIA process involves a comprehensive evaluation of the environmental consequences of tunnel construction. A binding opinion on the project's environmental impact is expected by the earliest in the first quarter of 2024.

To be completed by 2036

Set to commence construction in 2028, the Beroun Tunnel project aims for completion in eight years, with an estimated total cost of around CZK 46 billion. Stretching an impressive 24.7 kilometers, it will surpass the current record held by the 4.1-kilometer Ejpovický tunnel, becoming the Czech Republic's longest railway tunnel.

Lukáš Týfa, from the transport faculty of the Czech Technical University in Prague, noted that this marks the second attempt to realize the Prague-Beroun railway connection via a tunnel. Had preparatory work not been halted in 2010 due to cost concerns, the tunnel might have been in operation today.

The Beroun Tunnel promises to revolutionize regional travel, significantly shortening the journey from the Praha-Smíchov station to Beroun to a mere 13 minutes, compared to the current half-hour. Similarly, travel to Pilsen will be expedited, taking just 45 minutes instead of the current hour-plus commute, making train travel faster than driving.

The tunnel will accommodate long-distance passenger transport, fast regional services, and freight transportation. This will alleviate congestion on the original railway route, allowing for more frequent and rapid passenger and express train services. Moreover, it will reduce noise pollution near the existing rail line.

Part of broader rail-expansion plans

Post-tunnel completion, the Central Bohemian region plans to introduce a new transport concept featuring fast regional train connections, offering a competitive alternative to bus and car travel to Prague. This initiative aims to ease road and highway congestion while shortening commute times for travelers.

The Beroun Tunnel project is part of a broader effort to modernize the Praha-Smíchov to Beroun railway line, with the tunnel as its most extensive section. The initiative also aims to enhance international connectivity along the Prague–Pilsen–Nuremberg/Munich rail line.

Additionally, preparations are underway for extensive underground work on the Prague-Václav Havel Airport railway connection, involving a tunnel complex integrated with the Kladno line.

In the long term, several tunnel projects are planned for high-speed rail lines, including the Středohorský and Krušnohorský tunnels, each potentially spanning up to 31 kilometers. These developments promise to revolutionize rail travel, significantly reducing travel times and enhancing connectivity in the region.

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