Czech business calls for electoral traction for high speed rail plans
Czech businessmen have made an early election call for political parties to clearly state their support for the construction of a high speed rail network in the country in the run up to October elections to the lower house of parliament. They are worried that pledges might otherwise run out of steam.
The nearest Czech equivalent, the Pendolino, operates on existing track and goes around half as fast, mainly operating between the far western town of Cheb, Prague, and the eastern city of Ostrava. The high speed Sobotka admitted that for fast trains the Czech Republic was far behind Western Europe and much of Asia and that the lack of such a basic link between the country’s two main cities Prague and Brno is damaging.
A motion passed by the Czech Chamber of Commerce this week called for political leaders to commit in their election campaigns to the high speed rail plans so that it would have clear traction going forward.
The head of the chamber’s transport committee, Emanual Šíp told Czech Radio that the overall Czech conception of rail development is still deeply rooted in the past.
Šíp added that a detailed plan about rail development and financing is needed to make sure all the pieces come together both in the Czech Republic and abroad.
"There are many things that are missing. The whole of the proposed network has to be updated and the commercial and financial model for all of this must be prepared. We have to know what parts of this might be paid for by European funds, by domestic public finance, and if there will be private financing and the like. There should be a timetable for all the preparations and construction so that it’s known in advance what and when some of the investments will take place so that when the really expensive part of building new high speed track takes place we do not run out of money near the borders.ʺ