Deutsche Bahn subsidiary Arriva, which secured a contract to operate four
express rail lines in the Czech Republic, is to be fined for a series of
problems in the Liberec region.
Arriva started operating at the start of December but its trains have been running late and the company also has problems with the check-in system.
The regional management says that unless everything is running smoothly by mid-January at the latest it will consider withdrawing from the contract.
The 45-million-euro contract covers four lines from Prague to the cities of Tanvald, Novy Bor, Rakovnik and Ceske Budejovice.
Under the contract Arriva will operate the lines for three years, with the option to extend the contract by a further two years.
The Czech Republic’s rail companies are planning to make major investments in the coming years, the Czech News Agency reported on Monday. The biggest operator, Czech Railways, is at present running a number of competitions to supply it with tens of new wagons and locomotives and will invest up to CZK 40 billion in the next five years, while RegioJet and other service providers aim to spend several billion crowns in a three-year period.
The Railway Infrastructure Administration (SŽDC) plans to install a new
CCTV system at selected railway crossings in a bid to reduce traffic
fatalities. Drivers filmed making dangerous crossings will face fines, the
The move comes following a spate of lethal train accidents involving motorists this summer. More than 740 collisions and other extraordinary events were recorded on the Czech rail network from January through end July. Those crashes left 130 people dead.
Apart from looking to encourage responsible driving at railway crossings, plans are also afoot to install barriers at most of the country’s first-class roads by 2023.
The state-owned provider Czech Railways will have to pay a hefty fine for
allegedly abusing its dominant position on the market in freight transport
in the years between 2005 and 2014.
According to the Czech anti-monopoly office by its behaviour, the company violated both Czech and European competition laws.
However following an appeal, it reduced the original fine from 368 million crowns to 274 million crowns for the transgression.
The decision is now legally binding and Czech Railways has no further means of appeal.
The Rail Safety Inspection office reports that the number of rail-related
incidents in the first six months of 2019 amounted to 634, which is 15-
percent increase on the same period last year. The biggest accident took
place in Brno in March, with 23 people being injured in a head-on collision
of passenger trains.
The number of railway crossing incidents in the same period increased by 11 percent on the previous year, to 92, resulting in 13 deaths. The Czech Railway Infrastructure Administration plans to equip 132 out of the total 164 rail crossings on first class roads with barriers by the end of the year.
Czech Railways management are holding an emergency meeting Wednesday in the wake of back-to-back train collisions and a steep rise in reported accidents and ‘incidents’ – near misses. They will likely agree on stricter safety measures and tighter controls, including reviews of train drivers and key personnel.
The management of Czech Railways will meet to debate safety issues on
Wednesday following a spate of accidents and near-accidents around the
country. The management is likely to agree on stricter safety measures and
The number of "incidents“ and "accidents“ at Czech Railways has seen a sharp increase since the start of the year with inspectors investigating 220 cases.
There have been two accidents this week alone, with twenty-three people injured in a head-on collision of passenger trains in Brno on Tuesday, and five injured in a train crash in the Chrudim region just a day earlier.
Czech rail operators are struggling to find new train drivers. Many are nearing retirement age and not enough young people are entering the profession, the news site Lidovky.cz reported. Employers seeking to fill the shortage are training their own engine drivers, at a cost of up to CZK 1 million each.
A four hour strike by German railway workers on Monday disrupted local,
regional and long-distance train traffic spilling over into neighbouring
Czech Railways spokesman Radek Joklik warned passengers on routes to Berlin and Munich to expect long delays throughout the day. Some connections may be scrapped altogether.
Passengers have been advised to check out the situation on Czech Railways’ web pages ( https://www.cd.cz/default.htm www.cd.cz ).
According to a study published by the Czech Republic’s Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) on Monday, more than a third of the trains currently in the service of Czech Railways (ČD) have been in use for over 30 years, making them unsuitable to the needs and expectations of customers. The state’s main public transport provider has defended itself by saying that it has only had a chance to start updating its equipment since 2008. However, the NKÚ believes that modernisation is going at too slow a pace.