Prague - Masarykovo nádraží, a train station in downtown Prague, could vanish in several years. The Prague City Council is scheduled to discuss the issue within two weeks, Civic Democrat Councillor Martin Langmajer told Aktuálně.cz.
Prague wants to replace the train station with new streets.
"It is logical that Opletalova street should be extended to the current railyard and connected with Na Florenci street," said Civic Democrat MP Jan Bürgemeister, who is behind the idea to demolish the railway station.
V Celnici street should be longer as well. "This would help expand the broader city centre for pedestrians. People would finally be able to cross the Prague thoroughfare to Karlín without problems," he added.
There are no precise plans for the replacement of Masarykovo nádraží. "Right now, the point is to open the path for quality investors in the zoning plan," says Langmajer.
But some City Hall officials say the place should be filled with new streets with offices, hotels, flats and shops. The original train station hall should be preserved and rebuilt into a shopping gallery. Rumour has it that the building should be "a second Palladium" of sorts. Experts say this should happen in five to ten years.
"It is one of the last possibilities to use this part of town while connecting two so far separate railways - the one to Kladno and the one to Karlštejn. Passengers could then travel through the Prague centre without switching," says Bürgemeister.
"If we don't do it now, we will conserve Masarykovo for another 100 years, and that would be a shame," he said.
It is logical that the decision on the future of the station should be made fast - a gradual revitalisation of the area is just starting. "We have to set clear conditions. Otherwise we are wasting money," said Bürgemeister.
ING Real Estate Development, in charge of the first phase of the revitalisation, is planning for instance to shorten platforms to expand the room for passengers.
The removal of builders' dorms nearby and the reconstruction of a derelict railyard will enable the Czech Railways together with ING Real Estate Development to create a new plot of land along Na Florenci street. This could happen in one or two years.
Trains that terminate at Masarykovo nádraží today should be redirected to the Main Station. "The station would become a major transport junction. It has a C-line metro station, and in future it should be on the D-line too.
At the same time, InterCity trains would stop there," says Bürgemeister.
Dating back to 1845, Masarykovo nádraží is the oldest railway station operating in Prague.
Adapted and republished by Prague Daily Monitor
autor: Hana Vorlíčková | 23. 6. 2008 8:15
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