EU funds help: The repair of the Břeclav railway station has paid off (VIDEO)
12. 3. 2021
The Břeclav railway station is a junction of long-distance and passenger train routes as well as a rail border crossing point for Austria and Slovakia. It has an important position. About three hundred passenger and four hundred freight trains pass through the station every day. Between 2007 and 2019, the Railway Infrastructure Administration reconstructed it with significant support from EU funds.
Before now, trains passed through Břeclav at 40 km/h, now they pass the town safely at speeds of up to 160 km/h. It was the acceleration of the passage of trains in the directions Vienna - Brno and Vienna - Přerov that was the main goal of the huge investment. The passage through the hub has been shortened by several minutes and now fully meets the requirements for fast and dense international passenger and freight transport. Construction costs reached CZK 3.2 billion. The European Union contributed almost CZK 2.7 billion of subsidy.
These investments helped to connect the Břeclav station to previously completed structures and to reconstructed railway sections of neighbouring states: the modernized sections of the Berlin - Prague - Břeclav - Vienna corridor and the Warsaw - Břeclav - Vienna corridor. The reconstruction removed the infamous bottleneck that caused the slow running of passenger and freight trains. Also EuroCity interstate connections or the state-of-the-art Czech and Austrian Railjet trains can pass through the Břeclav station at a much higher speed. However, the trains are not yet traveling to Vienna or Bratislava at a speed of 160 km/h. The rest of the tracks cannot bear such speed.
Elements associated with the operation of the line have also been transformed in Břeclav. "The construction included the reconstruction of the southern station head, including a five-track bridge over the Dyje River," said Miroslav Bocák, director of the Construction Management East section of the Railway Infrastructure Administration (SŽDC), adding that five new railway bridges, 21 kilometres of new superstructure and 41 kilometres of traction power mains have also been built. In addition, noise barriers were erected in Břeclav, for example, along the tracks in Břetislavova and Lanžhotská streets.
SAFER OPERATION AND MORE COMFORTABLE TRAVEL
Already after the completion of the first building repair of the station in 2010 (the second was completed in 2019), both passengers and employees of the station could feel the improvement. "Ten years ago, all platforms at the Břeclav railway station were repaired and complete track security was built. The construction of lifts to each platform greatly contributed to the comfort of passengers. The old footbridge above the tracks was removed.
Employees will now get to the other side of the tracks thanks to the newly built underpass," Břeclav city representative Luboš Krátký recalled the transformation of the Břeclav railway station. "The comfort of passengers increased significantly after last year's completion of the reconstruction of the entire station building. Its front facade now has its original appearance from the end of the 19th century," he added.
As part of the reconstruction, six island platforms were built. The third platform now contains buildings that serve wheeltappers, consignment escorts and train dispatchers. The newly equipped station control room allows the switches to be controlled by a computer. In addition, the switches are heated and do not freeze in winter, which saves passengers time because they do not have to wait for them to thaw. The comfort is also improved by the new rails that are not assembled but welded together, which means a quieter ride without the typical rattling. Passenger safety is increased by the upgraded station audio system, camera system connected to a recording device as well as new lighting of the rail tracks, the underpass and platforms.
THE STATION IS ALSO RENEWED
In 2019, the Railway Infrastructure Administration completed the repair of the Břeclav railway station. The station received a modern look in the 1960s, but after the repairs, its original Classicist appearance returned to its front façade. "The repair consisted in the replacement of the roof cladding, thermal insulation of the building, reconstruction of the vestibule and construction of facilities for passengers and also for the RegioJet carrier, offices for the Czech Police and the Břeclav Social Security Administration," director Miroslav Bocák described the building’s upgrade.
A new bus terminal, an adjacent cycle path and a pavement were built in the immediate vicinity of the first platform. Passengers can transfer significantly faster between trains and integrated buses. Only the area in front of the station lags behind one of the most modern lines in the Czech Republic, it is covered with concrete. But even that should change over time. The city of Břeclav wants to improve the whole area in an overall revitalization.
STATION ON THE BORDER OF THREE STATES
The railway station in Břeclav is one of the very important junctions in the national railway network. The improvements brought about by its reconstruction can be used by passengers heading to Austria, Slovakia but also further to Hungary or, in the opposite direction, to Poland or Germany. In addition to the repaired buildings, the passage of trains through this station has accelerated significantly.
Photo: The Railway Infrastructure Administration (SŽDC) archive