DECEMBER 8 saw the start of 3?kV DC electric services on the 27?km single-track route between Ostrava-Svinov and Opava-V?chod in the Czech Republic, marking the completion of a KC1?73bn upgrading for 100?km/h operation, which has cut journey times by 15 to 20?min.It was the second Czech wiring scheme completed in 2006, following the Karlovy Vary - Kadan route which went live in May (RG 8.06 p436). It brings the electrified proportion of SZDC’s 9 513?km network to 32?3%, used by more than 90% of freight trains. Of this, 1 733?km is electrified at 3?kV DC, 1 314?km at 25?kV 50?Hz and 24?km at 1?5?kV DC.Electrification at 3?kV of the 8?km link between Ostrava Hlavn? and Ostrava Kuncice is on course for completion in November 2007 at a cost of KC92m including double-tracking and construction of a new station at Ostrava-Centrum.Infrastructure authority SZDC has now started work on two more schemes. The 49?2?km between Cesk? Budejovice and Cesk? Velenice on the Austrian border will be wired at 25?kV 50?Hz by EZ Praha at a cost of KC1?8bn. Partly funded by the EU, this is to be completed in May 2008 and will be followed by electrification of the 55?km Cesk? Velenice - Vesel? nad Luznic? route. Meanwhile, work is underway on wiring the 19?km Retz - Satov - Znojmo cross-border line at 15?kV 16?/??Hz to carry ?BB services to and from Wien.n