Revamped Czech bridge and tunnel allow larger freight trains to Germany

Image: Facebook. Správa železnic

Czech infrastructure manager Správa železnic has finished the reconstruction of a bridge and tunnel near Děčín, important for international rail freight traffic to and from Germany. Earlier on Thursday, the first freight trains started using the reconstructed section.

Reconstruction of the line between the stations Děčín východ and Děčín-Prostřední Žleb began last August. The section in question is single-track and just 1,4 kilometres long, but with some large structures. The biggest challenges were the replacement of the more than 100-year-old steel structure of the bridge over the Elbe river and the complete rehabilitation of the Děčín tunnel.

The section is part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), important for rail freight traffic across Europe.

The renewed Děčín tunnel in 2023
The renewed Děčín tunnel, image: Správa železnic

Larger and heavier trains

Správa železnic carried out a complete renewal of the line, including overhead lines, signalling and communication equipment. Approximately 700 metres of noise barriers were built where the line passes through urban areas to reduce noise pollution. The line speed will increase from 30 to 50 kilometres per hour when the construction is fully completed. For freight traffic, it is important to allow the passage of larger and heavier trains.

The reconstruction of the 265-metre-long bridge over the Elbe consisted of replacing the steel superstructure from 1916 with one of a similar shape. A load test was carried out in November. Workers are now dismantling the original bridge structure, work that will continue into spring.

The old and new bridge structures over the Elbe river side by side. Image: Facebook. © Správa železnic.

The Děčín Tunnel dates from 1874 and is 395 metres long. The reason for the reconstruction was the discovery of unpredictable changes in its subsoil. The bottom of the tunnel had to be excavated and adjustments were made to allow the water to drain.

The total cost of the project amounts to over 56 million euros (CZK 1,343,895,546). The European Union is funding 83.81 per cent of the eligible costs through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) fund. National funding is provided by the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure.

This article originally appeared on our sister publication

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Author: Esther Geerts

1 comment op “Revamped Czech bridge and tunnel allow larger freight trains to Germany”

bönström bönström|24.02.23|13:51

Until the needed shift is started, railway upgradings, as currently, regrettably just are defensive.
(TEN-T “investment”, at standards – now calling for “optimal maintenance”… is “cementing” – at a suboptimal standard!)
Modes, handsomely rewarded by willingly paying clients, other, are sustainable and upgradable, robustly, resilient – providing for future demand -sustainably for added load capacity, lower costs, etc., etc. (Noise barriers is symtom, at a rapidly detoriating track, etc.)

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