Praha metro Line C (Photo DPP)

CZECH REPUBLIC: Praha city council has approved plans to automate the existing metro Line C. This would enable orders for trainsets, platform screen doors and CBTC to be combined with those for the future Line D which is currently being built for automatic operation.

Deputy Mayor Zdeněk Hřib said Line D will need 16 trainsets and Line C a further 53, and splitting the orders would not be economically justified.

The cost of automating the two lines is estimated at KC36bn for the trains, control systems and platform screen doors, and KC50bn for upgrading the depots and providing 35 years of maintenance.

It is envisaged that contracts could be awarded in 2025, with the trains entering service no earlier than 2029.

Operator DPP estimates that automation of the 22 km Line C, the oldest on the network, would reduce annual operating costs by approximately KC770m. This would more than cover the estimated KC480m/year operating costs of Line D Phase 1 between Pankrác and Nové Dvory and much of the cost of Phase 2 to Písnice. Minimum headways on Line C could also be decreased from 115 to 90 sec to increase capacity.

The delivery of new trains for Line C would enable the current Series M1 trainsets to transferred to Line B, in turn enabling the withdrawal of the oldest Russian-built Series 81 trains on lines A and B.

In the longer term Line A could be automated by 2040, enabling the last of the Series 81 trains to be scrapped.