Replacement of 21 rail switches, 3 kilometres of track and 5.5 kilometres of the overhead contact line will be carried out during this year's comprehensive modernisation of the entry part of the Prague South Maintenance Centre in the Prague District of Michle. This is the largest modernisation of this extensive facility so far, which is to receive total capital expenditures amounting to several billion crowns.

“The Prague South Maintenance Centre is the most important place for taking care of electric suburban trains within the framework of the Prague Integrated Transport (PID) system and also of long-distance trains departing from Prague. We take care of Pendolino train sets, railjet units and we will take care of ComfortJets there as well. That is why we continue with a major renovation and extension of the entire site, which includes a comprehensive replacement of the existing tracks, modernisation of the current halls and facilities, such as the car wash, and the construction of a new four-track hall for the maintenance of long-distance trains. Within a few years we want to invest over CZK 5 billion in this largest Czech centre for train maintenance,” says Michal Kraus, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of České dráhy and Deputy Director General for Servicing.

A major renovation of the train entry group is taking place this year. This group itself represents a large railway station with thirteen tracks, where train sets arrive from the Prague Main Station and Praha-Vršovice railway station for further maintenance and cleaning in the area of the Prague South Maintenance Centre. Altogether 21 rail switches, about 3 kilometres of track and 5.5 kilometres of overhead contact line will be replaced during the modernisation process.

A modern superstructure of the S49 type with flexible rail fastening and concrete sleepers under the switches will be used for the renovation project. This superstructure design has a long service life and ensures long-term reliability and operational safety. The renovation project will include also the replacement of gate systems and overhead contact line supports. All fixed overhead contact line equipment will be ready for conversion to the 25 kV 50 Hz AC power supply system at the Prague junction. The renovation will also involve the replacement of the control system elements, lighting system with new LED lights and the replacement of all cabling systems will be performed as well. The contractor of the modernisation project is Strabag Rail. The value of the capital expenditures of České dráhy is CZK 258.658 million and its scope requires a complete closure of the entire train entry group of the Prague South Maintenance Centre from 11 March to 14 December 2024. This entails extensive measures in the technology of the preparation of vehicles for maintenance and operation of České dráhy in the Prague railway junction.

The current capital expenditure project is a continuation of the first stage of the train entry group renovation and other repairs carried out last year, when 23 rail switches and 1,500 metres of track were replaced throughout the whole facility. In the upcoming years, it is planned to reconstruct the washing plant, which is one of the busiest in the Czech Republic and has washed more than a quarter of a million railway vehicle bodies since its commissioning in 2007. The new car washing plant will have a capacity of up to 30,000 vehicles per year and work on its reconstruction is expected to start still this year. The Prague South Maintenance Centre will also undergo a comprehensive modernisation of the control system equipment, and the renovation project will include such construction works as construction of a traction substation, construction of new sanitary tracks and, above all, construction of a new four-track hall for maintenance of ComfortJet units.

The Prague South Maintenance Centre is the largest train maintenance facility in the Czech Republic. There are more than 45 kilometres of tracks, nearly 200 rail switches and almost 30 kilometres of overhead contact line. It takes care of 70 CityElefant units, Pendolino train sets, railjets and several hundred passenger carriages.