Good news for anyone who has ever driven traffic-choked Evropska street, hopped a standing-room-only bus to the airport, or experienced the now infamous Veleslavín luggage schlep.
Pražský Deník is reporting news of “a remarkable event” planned to take place in Prague’s Karlín district this spring.
That event is the beginning of repairs, this April, to the Prague 8 neighbourhood’s 19th-century Negrelli viaduct, the first in a series of several steps toward the building of a railway link between Prague and the city of Kladno with a detour to Vaclav Havel Airport.
Plans for extending the line have been debated by city and railway infrastructure officials since 1996; however preliminary work will now commence in an effort to realize the modernized double-tracked and electrified suburban railway that Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka declared a priority last year summer.
The article, citing reports from ROPID, says that the Praha-Veleslavín-Kladno-Ostrovec line could be in operation by 2024; the airport detour would be built in 2021; construction on the Prague-Kladno stretch could commence in 2019.
A ROPID spokesperson interviewed by the publication said that the aim of the rail connection is first to increase comfort for current public transport passengers, who travel from central Bohemia or the airport bus, and also significantly reduce the environmental burden produced by public transport.
A large part of the plan’s success hinges on the hope that commuters will be willing to leave behind their cars.
It would directly connect the airport with the center of the city at Prague’s Masarykovo nádraží station. At peak times, six trains per hour could make a 27-minute journey.