Czech Republic: Selected improvements to the tram system in Ostrava

Article, 14.10.2014

On 26 September 2014, a project was inaugurated in Ostrava – the third-largest city in the Czech Republic – in which selected improvements were made to the city's tram network to enhance the service and level of comfort of public transport. The project was financed by the Swiss contribution to the enlarged European Union. This support made it possible to improve the management of the tram lines and passenger safety.

Tram stop in Ostrava
Railings and shelters raise the safety and comfort of public transport. © SECO

Two districts in the south of Ostrava have been connected by means of a new set of points and the renovation of a 60-metre-long section of old track. These two renovations enabled a new tram line to be introduced to replace part of an overloaded bus line. In addition, a new tram stop has been built at a newly designed tram junction.

The second focal point of the project was to improve safety at two tram stops where a number of accidents had happened in the past. Wider platforms, demarcated from the road with a railing, and new signals have been installed to reduce the number of accidents. In addition, the renovated tram stops have been designed for improved use by persons with limited mobility.

Switzerland's enlargement contribution is also being used to support another project in Ostrava with similar objectives: A junction of the city transport network is now better connected to the inner city through the construction of a three-kilometre-long trolleybus line. The two projects are part of the transport authority's overall strategy to reduce the high level of dust pollution in the city. Ostrava is a centre of heavy industry and has one of the highest levels of air pollution in the EU.

The projects were completed from August 2013 to September 2014. The overall budget of the project is approximately CHF 4 million, to which Switzerland has contributed about CHF 3.5m. In all, Switzerland is financing 38 projects in the Czech Republic with a total amount of approximately CHF 104 million. In addition to these two projects in Ostrava, four other projects to improve the safety and reliability of local and regional public transport are being financed.

A tram moving along rails.
A tram on the new tram junction financed by Switzerland. © SDC