Velim railway test circuit
The Velim test center (Czech: Zkušební centrum Velim) is a railway rolling stock testing facility at Cerhenice, close to the town of Kolín in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It has become one of the main testing locations for new types of rolling stock designed for use in Europe, and has been a fully accredited European test centre since March 1995. The most notable feature is the Velim railway test circuit (Železniční zkušební okruh u Velimi/Cerhenice), consisting of two large standard gauge railway track ovals designed for continuous running of new rail vehicles.
The two standard gauge test circuits were built in 1963, and are located between the villages of Vrbová Lhota, Ratenice, Cerhenice, Velim, Pňov-Předhradí and the southern suburbs of Poděbrady. The village of Sokoleč lies completely inside the larger circuit.
- small circuit 3.951-kilometre long with a maximum allowed speed of 90 km/h.
- large circuit 13.276-kilometre long with a maximum allowed speed of 230 km/h for tilting trains and up to 210 km/h for conventional trains.
The circuits allows the testing of the characteristics of vehicles, noise levels, the ability to communicate using the European Train Control System (ETCS) and GSM-R radio, and simulation of failures and changes in power system.
Both circuits provide all railway electrification systems used in central Europe:
- 3000 V (DC)
- 1500 V (DC)
- 25 kV AC railway electrification (50 Hz)
- 15 kV AC railway electrification (16.7 Hz)
In 2008 and 2009 manufacturer Alstom tested its new Automotrice à grande vitesse at Velim, and at the same time the V250 built by AnsaldoBreda was being tested. The IC4 by AnsaldoBreda was often tested at Velim partly due to the bureaucratic procedure to approve a new system version for test on a normal Danish railway.