18 December 2017

The Visegrad Group is rich with rivers

As a landlocked country, the Czech Republic pays significant attention to inland waterway transport. Three rivers run through the country: the Elbe, the Oder and the Vltava. Most of waterways are of class IV navigability (Vltava-Mělník–Slapy, Elbe-Vltawa), part of them belonging to the trans-European inland routes to Rhine-Danube and the Baltic-Adriatic Sea. The most important of the planned investments include the modernization of locks on the Elbe River, expansion of the waterway to České Budějovice and, the most important from the point of view of international cooperation, namely the construction of a canal connecting the Oder, the Danube and the Elbe.

In the case of Hungary, the main inland waterway is the Danube River, running 400 kilometres across the entire country. It forms part of the TEN-T network and has a navigability class of categories VI B and VI C throughout its entire length. Thanks to the connections with sea ports, 8% of the international freight transport takes place on the Danube. Inland navigation plans envisage the connection of the Tisza River to the TEN-T network and to the Danube. As part of further investments, inland ports will be upgraded, with rail and terminal infrastructure rebuilt at the Baja port, and new equipment fitted at the Mohács port. Local shallows of up to 1.9-2.0 metres are still an important problem, which limits the operational possibilities for large transport vessels.

The landlocked Slovakia also focuses its transport strategy on inland waterway transport and the Danube River, running across the country for 170 kilometres. The second important river section is the TEN-T Váh River. Work is currently underway to prepare a feasibility study on connecting it with the Danube River. The Slovak Ministry of Transport aims to improve navigational conditions on the Danube up to a depth of 2.5 metres for 300 days per year.