On Sunday 15 December, the first regular trains will run on the renewed railway line between Hrušovany u Brna and Židlochovice. Správa železniční dopravní cesty (SŽDC) carried out its complete reconstruction and electrification. This allows the introduction of direct trains from the regional capital. Passengers at Židlochovice Station will have at their disposal two new platforms; at Hrušovany u Brna, one centre and one external platform were built. All of them have a boarding edge at a standard height of 550 millimetres above the rail.
Operation on the three-kilometre long branch from the main line of Emperor Ferdinand’s Northern Railway was launched in 1895. It was built mainly to service the sugar factory in Židlochovice. Although passenger transport also played an important role during some periods, its importance steadily declined. And so, passenger transport ended in 1979 and freight transport was maintained until around the mid-1990s.
Židlochovice is part of some important transfer junctions within the integrated transport system of the South Moravia Region; that is why its leadership endeavoured to renew operation on the line to Hrušovany and to carry out all adaptations that would allow the introduction of a direct train connection to Brno. The project also included electrification and a necessary configuration change to the track layout at Hrušovany u Brna Station. The highest speed on the renewed line will be 80 kph.
The building site was handed over at the end of November 2018; following that, preparation works started including, for example, the dismantling of a rather well-preserved railway superstructure including tracks. At Židlochovice Station, two new external platforms 170 metres long were built. The platform at Track No 1 is a so-called edge-edge transfer to buses servicing the newly-built transfer terminal.
Two new platforms, also 170 metres long, were built at Hrušovany u Brna. More specifically, there is one centre platform and one external platform, situated in front of the passenger building. Access to the new centre platform is provided by stairs and a lift from the current underpass.
Two railway crossings were reconstructed as well as one pedestrian crossing. Safe operation is assured by new Category 3 signalling equipment, which has been adapted for remote control from the Traffic Control Centre at Přerov.
Technical and safety testing was carried out on the renewed line on 7 November. At present, final safety and signalling equipment is being installed. Construction work will continue until the end of next March. Some terrain adaptations, cleaning and completion works are still to be done.
The project for modernisation and electrification of the line Hrušovany u Brna – Židlochovice is co-financed by the EU under the Operational Transport Programme. Total estimated costs for the project come to CZK 832,470,216 (VAT excluded); the maximum EU support is up to 82.05% of the total eligible costs. National financing is provided by the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure.