Správa železnic, CPK and Rail Baltica to cooperate on HSR in Three Seas region
The proposed line should reduce journey time between Prague and Warsaw to four hours.
Správa železnic, Centralny Port Komunikacijny (CPK), and Rail Baltica signed a cooperation agreement today at the Railway Direction Days conference in Warsaw to create the Three Seas HSR network.
This should result in the future Czech high-speed rail network being connected to the planned high-speed connections in Poland and to the new Rail Baltica, which will link Poland with the Baltic countries. The high-speed rail network will thus make it possible to travel from Prague to Tallinn in Estonia, with the first section to be completed in 2028.
“The cooperation of several countries in this project can only be beneficial. It is necessary to enable easy traveling without changing trains,” said Marcin Horała, the Polish government representative for CPK, at the conference.
The Three Seas HSR network is expected to have a total length of 4,500 km, with the Prague – Wrocław – Warsaw – Tallinn route measuring over 1,500 km and the Budapest – Katowice – Warsaw – Tallinn connection totaling 1,700 km. “This is that unique time in our shared history when, by working together in the region, we can create unrivaled rail connectivity. We are learning lessons from HSR investments in the West. As a result, our projects can have an economic knock-on effect, giving a boost to other industries and sectors,” Mikołaj Wild, CEO of CPK said.
Na vysokorychlostní železnice nejsme v Evropě sami.@Spravazeleznic ve Varšavě právě teď podepsala memorandum s @CPK_PL a @RailBaltica, které potvrzuje naše společné ambiciózní plány na vybudování téměř 4500 km VRT v oblasti Trojmoří. 👇 pic.twitter.com/MEwn8tGAXq
— Martin Švehlík VRT (@MartinSvehlikSZ) January 18, 2023
Section in Poland to be completed first
In addition to the new major airport between Warsaw and Łódź, CPK is responsible for the construction of high-speed rail lines in Poland. According to its representatives, the first section from Warsaw to Łódź will be opened as early as 2028. By the same year, the modernized line from Warsaw to Białystok near the Lithuanian border, from where Rail Baltica will continue through the Baltic States, should be completed. The high-speed line through the Baltics is scheduled for completion in 2030. In Poland, it will be followed by a link to Warsaw and then on to Katowice and Ostrava, where it will connect to the Czech network. The line between Prague, Brno, Bratislava, and Budapest should also be built at this time.
“The Three Seas Region is one of the fastest growing areas in Europe. Over the past 20 years, the region’s GDP has grown almost twice as fast as the ‘original EU’. These rail projects are tailored to the needs of individual countries and the Three Seas region as a whole. The new HSR network, i.e. the CPK railway investment, together with other investments in the region such as Rail Baltica and V4, will form the railway backbone of the Three Seas region while being a key element of the EU’s TEN-T transport network,” said Government Plenipotentiary for CPK Marcin Horała.
Representatives of all three parties emphasize that concrete steps are already being taken. The Polish side is conducting a feasibility study for a part of the line on Czech territory (Katowice – Ostrava), while the Czech side is working on the route to Wrocław. “Správa železnic sees this cooperation as a cornerstone for future rapid development in the Three Seas region. Faster travel between hubs, a better quality of service for passengers, improved safety as well as freeing up capacity on conventional railroad for freight trains seem to be the main benefits and trains can gradually replace air transport on many routes,” added Radek Čech, Director International Cooperation and EU Department, Správa železnic.
The cost of high-speed rail in the region is estimated at EUR 60 billion. A study says the benefits of the construction could be twice as high as the costs. About half of this amount is due to savings in journey time. According to the study, a trip from Prague to Warsaw should take four hours, and to Vilnius, eight hours.
Edited and translated by Lucie Trávníčková