Germany has announced plans to construct a railway tunnel through Rudna Gora to improve connections with the Czech Republic and alleviate traffic congestion in the Elbe valley. The railway tunnel will run for about thirty kilometers from the German town of Heidenau to the Czech town of Ústí on the Elbe. The German state railway company Deutsche Bahn explained that the tunnel is the best solution for economic, ecological, and technical reasons, after considering other options.
The project holds priority status for European infrastructure due to the high burden on the railway lines in the Elbe valley and the threat of floods. According to Martin Walden, director of Deutsche Bahn in Saxony, construction is scheduled to begin around 2032 and last for approximately 12 years.
The railway tunnel will significantly reduce travel time from Prague to Dresden, from 2.5 hours to just one hour. It will also improve Germany’s traffic connections with Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest, and will be part of a wider European railway corridor stretching from German ports on the North Sea and Baltic Sea to Istanbul and Athens. Furthermore, it will increase freight capacity on a key link between Germany and other Central European countries.
Germany’s transport minister Andreas Scheuer stated that this project would have significant economic benefits for both countries by reducing transportation costs and increasing trade opportunities. Additionally, it would also help reduce carbon emissions by improving rail transport over road transport.