CZECH rail infrastructure manager SŽ has selected a consortium of Prague transport planning consultancy Sudop Praha and Olomouc-based engineering consultancy Moravia Consult to undertake the feasibility study into the planned Prague - Hradec Králové - Wrocław high-speed line.

The contract is worth Koruna 12.6m ($US 590,000) with final reports due by November 2022.

SŽ presented its overall plans for the new high-speed network in April. Planning for the new lines is taking place in three phases: the first strategic phase was undertaken between 2014 and 2018 and confirmed the need for and basic outline of the new routes.

The current pre-investment phase, which will conclude around 2023, includes detailed feasibility studies. Once feasibility work is complete this will lead to outline planning approval enabling the final construction management planning to take place in 2023-25, leading to the issue of building permits for construction to begin from 2025 onwards.

The proposed RS5 Praha - Hradec Králové - Wrocław line will branch from the planned RS1 Prague - Brno - Břeclav route serving the city of Hradec Králové with a branch to Pardubice on the existing Prague - Olomouc main line.

The feasibility study will design the route of the future high-speed line and its connections, as well as assess the overall technical design, including whether the line will also be used for freight and what if any parts of the existing rail network could be incorporated into the plans.

The economic case for the proposed line will also be assessed, including future demand for travel to and from the Czech Republic to Wrocław and southwestern Poland. The consultants will work in conjunction with Central Transport Hub (CPK) in Poland, which is planning new railway lines and the new central airport in Poland.

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