Liberec – The Railway Administration banned the operation of historic trains on the cog line from Tanvald to Kořenov. Deputy Governor Jan Sviták (Mayors for the Liberec Region) told ČTK today. According to the information on Zubačka’s website, the ban is valid until the end of the reconstruction of the track, which is currently planned for 2025. According to Sviták, the Liberec region considers this unacceptable, requests track repairs before the track is reconstructed, and fears a complete stoppage of traffic on one of the most used sections railways in the region. ČTK is looking for a statement from the Railway Administration.
“The Railway Administration has known about the problem on the track for a long time, the reconstruction was already planned about three years ago and was supposed to start, we are dissatisfied with the fact that it waited until the stage when traffic was restricted for the Railway Administration in the easiest possible way – that is the prohibition of Zubacka . But that risk is also present in standard public transport. It is a general problem that can be applied to the entire Liberec region, because all repairs and reconstructions on the tracks in the region are solved up to five minutes after 12,” said Sviták.
The unique cog line between Tanvald and Kořenov celebrated 120 years of operation last year. It connects the Jizera Mountains and the Giant Mountains and is the steepest railway line in the Czech Republic. The twelve-kilometer line is a cultural monument, it has three sections with a rack in the middle of the track, which help the locomotives to overcome the steep gradient of 58 per mile. According to the Zubačka association, the last major reconstruction took place in the years 1958 – 1962, since then, with the exception of a short section between Desná-Riedlová vila and Dolní Polubný, no major work has been done on the line.
According to the Railway Administration, the overall condition of the section corresponds to the age of the track. “However, at the same time, due to the lateral effects of the driving vehicles, there is extreme stress on the fastening node, especially in curves with a very small radius, and this results in the appearance of gross defects in the track gauge parameter. Due to corrosion, the rail cross-section of the rails is also permanently weakened,” she said according to website Zubačky Správa železnik, and therefore banned the operation of cogwheel locomotives with immediate effect. This year, Zubačka will no longer be touched, it stopped operating on the last weekend of October.
However, according to Sviták, the next tourist season is at risk. “The project that we painstakingly started last year, which concerns the systematic financing of the nostalgic railway, is in danger of collapsing. We have approximately seven million crowns allocated for this in the budget, and with this decision the whole project may fail,” said Sviták. According to the governor’s deputy, tourists are very much looking for historical trains, not just those on the cogline line, and the capacity is often not even enough for interest. That’s why the region already had them included in the timetables this summer and expected a further expansion for next year.
CR Railway Monuments Administration Railway Administration Zubačka AUDIO Liberecký PHOTO