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 information on the Zubačka website, the ban is valid until the end of the reconstruction of the line, which is currently planned for 2025. According to Sviták, the Liberec region considers this unacceptable, requests track repairs before the reconstruction of the line, fears a complete stoppage of traffic on one of the most used sections railways in the region.
“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 reduced for the Railway Administration in the easiest possible way – this is a ban” “cogwheels’. This 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 not resolved until five minutes after 12,” said Sviták.
According to Railway Administration spokeswoman Nela Eberl Friebová, the cog line continues to operate for vehicles that meet the specified track load class and lateral effects of vehicles. “However, the validity of the exception that we granted annually for vehicles of the 715 series, i.e. those that do not meet the specified line load class and the lateral effects of vehicles on this line, has been suspended. We do not foresee traffic restrictions for vehicles that meet the specified parameters,” the spokeswoman answered a question from ČTK.
According to her, diagnostics last year and this year showed deterioration of the condition of the railway top in the track gauge parameter. “Given the condition of the railway top, it is very difficult to adjust the gauge to the permissible limit,” said Eberl Friebová. However, according to her, the Railway Administration already has the project documentation for track repair, this year it also received a building permit and is preparing a public tender for a contractor. “An application for a grant title has also been submitted, we are waiting for its approval. The renewal of the track is planned for the 2025 construction season,” the spokeswoman added.
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.
This year, Zubačka will no longer be affected, it stopped operating on the last weekend of October, but the next season is at risk. “There is a threat of collapsing the project that we painstakingly started last year and which concerns the systematic financing of the nostalgic railway. 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 deputy, historic trains, not only those on the cogline, are highly sought after by tourists, and the capacity is often not 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