Czech Republic - Transportation
There are some 9,444 km (5,866 mi) of railroads in the Czech Republic, connecting Prague with Plzen, Kutná Hora, and Brno. Paved highways cover 55,432 km (34,445 mi), including 499 km (310 mi) of expressways in 2002. As a landlocked nation, the Czech Republic relies on coastal outlets in Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, and Germany for international commerce by sea. There are 303 km (188 mi) of waterways. The principal river ports are Prague on the Vltava, and Decin on the Elbe. In 2001 there were 121 airports, of which 44 had paved runways. Principal airports include Turany at Brno, Mosnov at Ostrava, and Ruzyne at Prague. Ruzyne is the nation's primary commercial airlink. In all, Czech airports in 2001 performed 26 million freight ton-km (8.9 million freight ton-mi) of service. In that same year, domestic and international flights carried 2,559,900 passengers.
With the separation of Czechoslovakia, the new Czech Republic has rapidly replaced its former Eastern European trading partners with Western ones (primarily Germany and the rest of the EU). This shift in the direction of transportation of goods into and out of the Czech Republic has overloaded the current infrastructure of roads, airports, and railroads. In 1993, the government targeted several goals to develop the transportation network, including: the development of priority connections between Prague and Vienna, Berlin, Warsaw, Nuremberg, Munich, and Linz; the construction of 264 km (164 mi) of new highways over the next 8–10 years for improved trucking links; expansion of the Prague Ruzyne airport; and connection to Western Europe's high-speed rail system, and the acquisition of better rolling stock.
Most goods are shipped by truck. Currently, underdeveloped railroads and waterways often can not accommodate intermodal transport. As of 2001, a $3.5 billion project was underway to modernize the rail system.