Corridor 4 closure begins. In three months, trains will run in a different track
Compared to some previous closures, Ceske drahy will retain a sleeper car to Zurich on the Chotoviny–Zurich section.
After four years, work on the construction of the new section of Corridor 4 between Sudomerice and Votice (line Prague – České Budějovice – Linz) has reached its final stage, and it will not be without a long closure. After the closure is over, trains will run on a relocated track.
Freight trains will first pass through in the evening of 30 June, while passenger services will resume the following day. The service interruption is necessary to eliminate collisions between the original and new lines. The entire section will be connected to the new track. The rail infrastructure manager staff have been offered other work.
Long-distance and regional trains will be replaced by buses. In addition to the replacement bus service, the closure will bring changes to the timetables with earlier departures from Prague. Compared to some previous closures, Ceske drahy (Czech Railways) will retain a sleeper car to Zurich on the Chotoviny–Zurich section.
After the new section opens, the operation will be limited at first, with full double-track operation in the whole section starting in September. The speed of trains will gradually increase up to 160 km/h. After the introduction of exclusive ETCS operation, tilting trains will be able to run at speeds of up to 200 km/h, while conventional trains will be able to run at a maximum of 170 km/h.
The roughly 20-kilometer section has been under construction since spring 2018, and includes two tunnels. According to the tendered price, the generously conceived construction was to cost CZK 4.4 billion, while the current estimate is 5.4 billion. The price increase is due to problems with the subsoil in the tunnels and the redesign up to 200 km/h for tilting trains.