Train link to Prague Airport back on rails

A rail link to Prague Airport has won backing from city politicians, but the long wait for a fast, comfortable connection continues

Debate continues as to whether to build a rail link to Ruzyně or to extend the Prague metro | na serveru Lidovky.cz | aktuální zprávy Debate continues as to whether to build a rail link to Ruzyně or to extend the Prague metro | foto: ©ČESKÉ DRÁHYČeská pozice
Debate continues as to whether to build a rail link to Ruzyně or to extend the Prague metro

A rail link between Prague Ruzyně International Airport and the city center would the best solution to the transport problems of Central Europe’s busiest airport, Prague City Hall leaders have been told.

The rail link has been recommended by a study drawn up by the city’s strategic forward planning unit, the Department for the Development of the Capital City, which was submitted to the city’s transport committee on Thursday. The study said the rail link would be more than twice as effective as extending the metro from the city center to the airport, an option discussed in the past, the daily Hospodářský noviny reported.

While the committee gave first preference to the rail link, they also asked for continued work on the alternative possibility of a tram line to the airport to be elaborated by the city’s public transport company, the paper added. How to provide a faster and more comfortable link has been debated for more than 15 years without a decision being taken.

Prague’s popular and modern Ruzyně airport, the busiest in Central Europe, faces a major problem for passengers trying to get to and from it: The only public transport link to the city is a bus. How to provide a faster and more comfortable link has been debated for more than 15 years without a decision being taken.

Transport committee members were also told that plans for a new southward 11-kilometer metro line from the center of Prague would cost up to a third more than estimated. A previous bill for the extension totaled Kč 40.2 billion, but councilors were told on Thursday that this could rise to Kč 56 billion if work is carried out as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) and to Kč 61 billion without private capital or management involvement.

The head of the city’s public transport company, Martin Dvořák, has backed a PPP solution, saying that delays and cost increases could be avoided with a properly structured deal.