České dráhy (English: Czech Railways), often shortened to ČD, is the major railway operator in the Czech Republic providing regional and long-distance services.

České dráhy
Company typeGovernment-owned (100%)
IndustryRailway company
PredecessorsČeské dráhy s.o. (1993–2002)
ČSD (1918–1992)
FoundedPrague (2003)
HeadquartersPrague, Czech Republic
Key people
Michal Krapinec
RevenueIncrease 40.656 billion CZK (2019)[1]
7,993,000,000 Czech koruna (2021) Edit this on Wikidata
Increase 1.315 billion CZK (2019)[1]
Total assetsIncrease 95.991 billion CZK (2019)[1]
Total equityIncrease 41.939 billion CZK (2019)[1]
Number of employees
Decrease 23.529 (2019)[1]
SubsidiariesČD Cargo

The company was established in January 1993, shortly after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, as a successor of the Czechoslovak State Railways. It is a member of the International Railway Union (UIC Country Code for the Czech Republic is 54), the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies, and the Organization for Cooperation of Railways. With twenty-four thousand employees[2] ČD Group is the fifth largest Czech company by the number of employees.[3]

History edit

ČD Class 680 Pendolino long-distance train
ČD railjet long-distance train

In 1827–1836, the České Budějovice–Linz railway was built, which was the second horse-drawn railway in continental Europe was established. The first steam-hauled railway in the area was established in 1839, from Vienna to Břeclav.[citation needed] The first standard gauge electrified railway track in the area was built in 1903.[citation needed]

Czechoslovak State Railways (Czech: Československé státní dráhy, abbreviated as ČSD), the predecessor of České dráhy, was established in 1918.[citation needed] In 1991, the first EuroCity (EC) trains ran on ČSD railways.[citation needed]

České dráhy was founded in 1993, following the breakup of Czechoslovakia. The company began a program of renovating Pan-European railway corridors the same year.[citation needed] The following year, the company launched truck transportation ("RoLa") on ČD railways from Lovosice to Dresden, which it stopped in 2004.[citation needed]

During the 1990s, there was a noticeable drop in railway traffic throughout the Czech Republic, a phenomenon that coincided with a massive expansion in road transport.[4] Seeking to halt, or even partially reverse, this trend, substantial efforts were made to restructure and modernise the railways and their operation. One such measure was the establishment of České dráhy as a joint stock company in January 2003; soon thereafter, various subsidiaries were created that focused on various sectors, such as research, telecommunications, and rolling stock maintenance.[4][5] Officials were keen to reduce the organisation's losses and to make it a commercially competitive venture, thus numerous reforms were implemented around this time, which included the centralisation of some activities (such as purchasing and internal stocking) while other activities were outsourced to third parties to increase efficiency. There was a general trend towards reducing employee headcount while various new technologies were brought in.[4]

In 2005, Pendolino tilting trains entered the operator's regular service.[citation needed]

In subsequent years, the company's liabilities grew exponentially. Liabilities increased from 19 billion Czech koruna (CZK) at the end of 2006 to CZK 53 billion at the end of 2015.[6][7]

For the second phase of this restructuring, on 1 December 2007, České dráhy spun off its freight operations into the newly established ČD Cargo, which remained a wholly-owned subsidiary of České dráhy.[4][8] Prior to 1 July 2008, České dráhy was the biggest employer in the Czech Republic.[9] Prior to the late 2000s, the organisation had historically incurred losses as a matter of routine, thus necessitating the provision of subsidies from the Czech government.[10] However, during 2007, České dráhy recorded a profit of 53 million CZK (2.1 million Euros), which was the first time the company had recorded a profit in its history.[11][4] Despite this milestone, České dráhy has continued to receive government subsidies and undergo periodic reforms with the aim of cutting costs to become a routinely profitable operating concern.[12]

In 2008, ČD Sky, an alliance between České dráhy and the airline SkyEurope, was created.[13] SkyEurope, which was heavily indebted, ceased operations in August 2009.

Measures aimed at increasing operating efficiency have spanned various aspects of the organisation. During January 2008, plans to transfer passenger transport operations to an independent subsidiary were met with approval from the Czech government.[14] While České dráhy is responsible for operating train services, the management and operation of the railway infrastructure (such as the tracks, signals, and stations) is managed by Správa železniční dopravní cesty (SŽDC). During December 2010, the Czech government proposed bringing SŽDC and ČD together in a single holding company. Around this time, the government also changed the subsidy available to both ČD and SŽDC.[12] During 2018, plans were mooted for the privatisation of subsidiary ČD Cargo. However, in November of that year, it was announced that no change would occur and that ČD Cargo would remain a state-owned entity; this was reportedly due to a decision by Andrej Babiš, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, to veto the proposal.[15]

During the 2010s, the open-access operator RegioJet has competed directly with České dráhy for passenger patronage between Prague and Ostrava. On 29 September 2011, the latter adopted similar pricing to those charged by RegioJet on the same route, which RegioJet declared to be unfair competition and a misuse of České dráhy's dominant position.[16] Two years later, RegioJet took legal action over České dráhy's pricing policy, alleging its negative impact on its business results.[17][18] During June 2022, the European Commission claimed that, between 2012 and 2016, České dráhy and the Austrian train operator ÖBB had colluded to prevent RegioJet from obtaining long-distance coaches from the latter.[19]

In 2014, the first "ČD Railjet" with passengers ran in the Czech Republic.[citation needed]

Modern rolling stock from international manufacturers has been purchases on multiple occasions. Perhaps the most prominent is the ČD Class 680 Pendolino, a high speed tilting train, which was originally intended for operating international services between Berlin, Prague, and Vienna.[20] A successor to the Pendolino was reportedly being sought during the early 2020s;[21] the company has also declared its ambitions to build a dedicated high speed network akin to the TGV.[22] During the 2010s, both České dráhy and freight subsidiary ČD Cargo were operating Siemens Vectron electric locomotives; these have often been leased from other companies.[23][24] In December 2021, a CZK 5 billion (225.4 million United States dollars) contract for a further 31 three-car RegioPanter electric multiple units (EMUs) was issued to Škoda Transportation, making for a total fleet size of 110 such trains operated by České dráhy.[25] The company has also explored the use of alternative fuel vehicles.[26]

In 2019, the supervisory board of České dráhy dismissed its Chairman Miroslav Kupec [cs], who has been in office since September 2018, as Kupec faced an investigation over possible illegal conduct.[27]

In November 2022, it was announced that Czech plans to subsidise electrified rail operations had been approved by the European Commission, benefitting companies such as České dráhy.[28] That same month, plans were revealed to modernise in excess of 2,000 coaches and other rail vehicles over the next four years at an annual cost of roughly Koruna 3.5bn (142.2 million United States dollars).[29]

Statistics edit

ČD Class 471 suburban train
ČD Class 844 regional train
ČD Class 810 regional train

During 2015, České dráhy recorded that its consolidated revenues were CZK 33 billion.[6] Comprising this figure were revenues from passenger transport, which amounted to CZK 21 billion (64% transfer payments from the government, 24% intrastate transport, 12% international transport), along with revenues from freight transport operated by subsidiary ČD Cargo, which amounted to CZK 11 billion.[6]

  • 9,412 km (5,848 mi) of railway lines operated by ČD, of which 3,210 km (1,990 mi) was electrified track and 1,906 km (1,184 mi) is double- and multiple-track,[30] all of them transferred to the infrastructure operator Správa železnic since.
  • 168.8 million passengers carried[30]
  • 6,907 million passenger-kilometres[30]
  • 76.723 million tonnes of goods carried[30]
  • 13,592 million tonne-kilometres[30]

Freight services edit

ČD Cargo, the cargo subsidiary, mainly transports raw materials, intermediate goods and containers. As of 2009, it is ranked in the top five largest railway cargo operators in Europe.[31]

Rolling stock edit

  • 2,726 tractive vehicles, of which 856 are electric locomotives and train-sets[30]
  • 27,416 freight cars[30]
  • 3,605 passenger cars[30]

Tourism edit

In 1999, the České dráhy Museum was opened in Lužná. It is the largest railway museum in the Czech Republic with the largest collection of steam locomotives.[32]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e Annual Report of České dráhy, a.s. for the Year 2019, http://www.ceskedrahy.cz/assets/pro-investory/financni-zpravy/vyrocni-zpravy/annual-report_1.pdf
  2. ^ Annual Report of České dráhy, a.s. for the Year 2014, auditor Deloitte Audit s.r.o.
  3. ^ ČD Group (České dráhy, a.s. with its consolidated subsidiaries)
  4. ^ a b c d e "Essential steps of CD Cargo for improved performance". globalrailwayreview.com. 28 May 2008.
  5. ^ "About Us". České dráhy. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
  6. ^ a b c Annual Report of České dráhy, a.s. for the Year 2013, auditor Deloitte Audit s.r.o.
  7. ^ Annual report of České dráhy for 2006, assets CZK 54,4 billion, ownership equity CZK 35,7 billion
  8. ^ "Carrying out dynamic changes to secure future position". globalrailwayreview.com. 15 May 2009.
  9. ^ PhDr. Zbyněk Zlinský. "SŽDC provozovatelem dráhy". Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  10. ^ "Annual Report of České Dráhy Group for the Year 2005 (p. 10)" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Czech Railways Posts First Profit Ever". Prague Daily Monitor. 14 January 2008. Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
  12. ^ a b "Reform looks to cut costs". Railway Gazette. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  13. ^ "Czech Railways to Sell SkyEurope Tickets at Stations". Prague Daily Monitor. 24 January 2008. Archived from the original on 29 January 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
  14. ^ Handl, Erich. "Government Approves Splitting off Passenger Transport from Czech Railways". Czech Business Weekly. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
  15. ^ Vosman, Quintus (22 November 2018). "Czech government scraps CD Cargo privatisation plan". International Rail Journal.
  16. ^ "České dráhy výrazně zlevnily, srovnaly ceny s RegioJetem". iDnes. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  17. ^ "RegioJet loni prohloubil ztrátu na 76 milionů korun". Deník.cz. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  18. ^ "RegioJet bude žalovat ČD kvůli nízkým cenám o 270 mil. Kč". zpravy.tiscali.cz. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  19. ^ Smith, Kevin (10 June 2022). "EC alleges collusion by ÖBB and CD to prevent RegioJet from accessing rolling stock". International Rail Journal.
  20. ^ "České "Pendolino" se již skutečně vyrábí". spz.logout.cz. Archived from the original on 28 September 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  21. ^ Vosman, Quintus (1 November 2022). "CD announces rolling stock tender worth up to $US 1.2bn". International Rail Journal.
  22. ^ Vosman, Quintus (11 November 2022). "Czech high-speed vision comes into focus". International Rail Journal.
  23. ^ "Czech Railways take over the first of 10 new Vectrons to expand fleet". globalrailwayreview.com. 17 February 2022.
  24. ^ Barrow, Keith (2 May 2017). "More Vectrons for ČD Cargo". International Rail Journal.
  25. ^ Clinnick, Richard (31 December 2021). "ČD orders 31 EMUs from Škoda". International Rail Journal.
  26. ^ Clinnick, Richard (11 September 2021). "Czech Railways issues market consultation on alternative power". International Rail Journal.
  27. ^ "Miroslav Kupec končí v čele Českých drah. Proti obviněním se chce bránit právní cestou". Czech Radio. 10 June 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  28. ^ Artymiuk, Simon (11 November 2022). "EC approves Czech scheme to support electric rail operators". International Rail Journal.
  29. ^ Vosman, Quintus (5 November 2022). "ČD to modernise 2000 coaches over next four years". International Rail Journal.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h České dráhy Group Statistical Yearbook 2010, available at http://www.ceskedrahy.cz/pro-investory/financni-zpravy/statisticka-rocenka/-11024/
  31. ^ "ČD Cargo profile on their website".
  32. ^ "Muzeum Českých drah v Lužné u Rakovníka – největší železniční muzeum v ČR" (in Czech). CzechTourism. Retrieved 16 October 2023.

External links edit

  Media related to ČD at Wikimedia Commons