THE CZECH government has approved the upgrading of CD’s north-south Corridor IV as part of its transport development strategy for 2000-10. The Decin - Praha - Horni Dvoriste route is to be rebuilt by 2005, taking priority over Corridor III linking Cheb, and Petrovice u Karviné (RG 6.95 p379).

Over the 129 km between Decin and Praha, Corridor IV uses CD’s Corridor I which is currently being upgraded. CD is reviewing the work required on the remaining 226 km to the Austrian border, which is single track with a top speed of 100 km/h. Most is electrified, and 25 kV wiring is under way on the final 57 km from Ceske Budejovice and Horni Dvoriste.

This electrification plus resignalling at a total cost of KC2·2bn will lift capacity on Corridor IV from 37 to 56 trains per day. Services are to be worked by a new fleet of 120 km/h dual-system electric locos designated Class 319, which would be able to run through into Austria; CD and Skoda are currently discussing the technical specification for the order.

CAPTION: The 22 km of CD’s Corridor I between Poricany and Kolin was to be cleared for 160 km/h from September 30 following reconstruction by SSZ of Praha Photo: J Pernicka