French-Czech bid ‘cheapest’ in Prague-Dresden high-speed rail contest
The Railway Infrastructure Administration [SŽDC] is completing the first step towards building a high-speed rail link between Prague and Dresden in eastern Germany, running via Ústí nad Labem. Before a formal evaluation begins, interested parties are partaking in a tender to commission a feasibility study.
According to E15’s sources, French firm Egis Rail, in conjunction with the Czech think tank Centre for Efficient Transport [CEDOP], presented the cheapest bid. The French-Czech consortium is seeking almost CZK 6.8m to draw up such a study; second place Sudop Praha’s bid was higher by more than a million crowns.
The anticipated price was CZK 9.85m. Eight entities placed a bid for the commission, including Metroprojekt, Sudop Brno, AF Cityplan and Mott MacDonald CZ. SŽDC declined to comment on the number of bidders and the bid prices.
The contest's outcome is set to have multiple ramifications. The study will indicate what the future of the railway network will look like. The high-speed route to Dresden will be the first of its kind in this country. “The task of the study is to find feasible, territorially viable and beneficial solutions for the carriage [of passengers and goods], the technology, the project economics and the environmental aspect,” said SŽDC spokesperson Kateřina Šubová. It is assumed, for example, that the route will run through a tunnel under Krušné hory, and that between Prague and Ústí nad Labem the trains will travel at 350 kmh. Transport minister Dan Ťok spoke during the spring about completing the rail link by 2030. But many people in his ministry do not believe such a deadline is realistic.
If Egis Rail and CEDOP emerge victorious from the tender it will mean foreign rivals breaking into the ranks of Czech project designers, who are largely represented by Sudop Group. CEDOP has long pushed for the development of high-speed links in the Czech Republic. It has been critical of the work of Czech counterparts in this field.