The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed its largest ever loan agreement in the Czech Republic, with a CZK 24 billion (€992 million) contract with the Ministry of Finance to support the upgrade of the country's rail network.
The loan will finance the modernisation and retrofit of trans-European networks (TEN-T) railway lines in the country, enabling the deployment of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).
EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters: "This is the largest EIB loan ever signed in the Czech Republic and the funds will greatly benefit rail transport usage in the country."
This investment is expected to improve rail connectivity, increase maximum speeds and capacity, and promote a modal shift from road to rail, reducing emissions and contributing to sustainable transport in line with EU objectives.
🇨🇿🇪🇺With @MinFinCZ, we support a major railway upgrade in the Czech Republic.— European Investment Bank (@EIB) October 23, 2023
Our €992m agreement, the largest EIB loan ever signed in the country, increases maximum speeds & capacity of the TEN-T network, boosting the #GreenTransition & EU connectivity
In addition, the loan will support improvements to level crossings, retrofit maintenance vehicles with ERTMS equipment, strengthen cyber-security, and enhance accessibility for people with reduced mobility and those traveling with children.
"The use of a loan from the European Investment Bank is the most economical and efficient solution to obtain funds for a strategic investment such as the digitalisation and automation of railway transportation.", commented Czech minister of finance Zbyněk Stanjura.
This financing is the first concrete result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the EIB and the Czech Ministries of Finance and Transport in November 2022 to establish a partnership for the modernization of the Czech Republic's railway network.
Czech Minister of transport, Martin Kupka: "The development of high-quality railways is key for the Czech Republic on a domestic and Central European scale. Multi-source financing of these projects that are necessary for the prosperity of the country is currently the right choice. Investments for the future must not stop. EIB loan funds are a key component of the financial portfolio of projects, thanks to which we are able to draw on other resources such as EU support.
“We will use them, for example, in the modernisation of Prague's Masaryk railway station and the important Karlštejn – Beroun line near the capital."
Photo Credit: EIB