The EIB has signed a loan of EUR 160 million (1) with CESKÉ DRÁHY, the Republic Railway Company of the Czech Republic.

The loan serves to modernise infrastructure and improve connections of the Czech rail network with the EU rail net and within the Republic. The investment will help to match EU standards for railway infrastructure, reliability and safety, and make railway sections totalling 98 km suitable in particular for use by high speed tilting passenger trains. The 5 railway sections concerned connect Corridor I and Corridor II of the Trans-European Network (TEN) rail system (the Czech sections of Berlin - Vienna and Warsaw - Vienna lines) and will also significantly improve the connection between Prague and Ostrava. The EIB already had granted loans of EUR 200 million each for Corridor I and Corridor II.

The project is part of the overall modernisation programme of the Czech Rails started in 1994 with the contribution of the Bank. Modernisation includes future transformation of Czech Rails aiming at separating operations and ownership of railway infrastructure. Improvement of major rail corridors in the Czech Republic will bring additional environmental benefits by reducing road traffic, in particular for freight.

The Bank's long-term financing is a further support to much-needed transport infrastructure programmes undertaken by the Czech Republic. It contributes to the Czech Republic's preparation for accessing the EU.

(1)1 EUR = 0.596700 GBP ; 35.5500 CZK