Trains on the country’s main routes resumed operation on Wednesday after being cancelled the previous day due to an ice storm. Rail routes in the worst affected areas, in the central and southern Moravia, are still not running and Czech Railways are urging passengers to use alternate means of transport if at all possible. All of Prague’s 22 tram routes were also back in operation on Wednesday afternoon after a day when virtually the entire network was out of action. A black-ice alert is set to remain in place in the Czech Republic until Wednesday evening.
Czech police have begun using an advanced radar system on a main throughway from Pardubice, East Bohemia, to Moravská Třebová likely to make life uncomfortable for motorists breaking the speed limit. Concealed in a regular police Škoda, the system can easily snap photos of offenders and quickly reference license plates; the police hope it will make a mark.
Tuesday is the first time that adverse weather conditions have ever halted all tram services in Prague, a spokesperson for the public transport authority said. While frozen rain on overhead lines caused the majority of routes to be closed on Monday evening, no trams left the city’s depots on Tuesday morning. They have been replaced by emergency bus services.
Frozen rain has severely hampered public transport in the Czech Republic since Monday evening. Rail transport has been particularly hard hit, with few trains running around Prague, in Central Bohemia and parts of Moravia. Hundreds of passengers were trapped inside trains on Monday night due to frozen overhead lines. No trams are running in Prague or Olomouc. In Brno most trams are operating but practically all the city’s trolleybuses have been halted. Road transport has in the main not been affected. Thousands of households are without power and the number of injuries caused by falls has been higher than usual.
At least thirteen people are reported injured in an accident near the town of Andělská Hora, north of Prague, where a school bus collided with a truck early on Tuesday. According to the internet news site novinky.cz none of the injuries are life-threatening. The injured are being transported to nearby hospitals. The daily says the accident was most likely caused by black ice.
Police are investigating a tragic accident in the town of Bystřice pod Hostýnem in which a fifty-year-old female driver unexpectedly swerved off the road onto the pavement and smashed into four elderly women. One died on impact, another in hospital shortly after and the remaining two are hospitalized. It is not clear why the woman lost control of the vehicle.
A bridge on the D1 motorway in Ostrava is only safe for cars, vans and other vehicles of up to 3.6 tonne, a spokesman for the Czech Roads and Motorways Directory said, quoting the results of a mathematical analysis of the structure’s capacity. The bridge was built in 2010; however, after structural problems appeared on two bridges on the motorway several months ago, the directorate imposed a speed limit and prohibited trucks from entering the bridge.
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