As follows the first draft timetable, train travel between Ceske Budejovice and Prague will speed up significantly in December.
The long Corridor 4 closure, which started on 2 April, ends today. In the afternoon, the new section from Votice to Sudomerice was traveled by class 75 MUV speeders with guests. Freight trains will follow tonight, while passenger services will resume on July 1.
The first scheduled passenger train to run through the new section is EC 331 Southern Express, leaving Prague at 5:49 a.m. Operation will be limited at first, with full double-track operation in the whole section starting in September. Regional trains continue to be replaced by buses.
In finalizing the four-year construction of a new section between Sudomerice and Votice, the service interruption was necessary to finish construction where the new track crossed the original one and to connect the entire section to the new track.
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.
As follows the first 2023 draft timetable, travel between Prague and Ceske Budejovice will speed up considerably. Thanks to the new Sudomerice – Votice section and the modernization of the corridor, the journey time for the Southern Express will be reduced by 18 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Edited and translated by Lucie Trávníčková.