Czech Tram Rails Navigate the High Seas

The war in Gaza and instability in the Middle East have significantly impacted Prague Engineering, a manufacturer of tram rails. The Czech company’s products destined for Melbourne, Australia, now have to circumnavigate the Cape of Good Hope, bypassing the Suez Canal and the Red Sea.

The tram rails, manufactured in Prague’s Vinohrady, are bound for a new tram depot in Melbourne. The expedition for this contract began in January of this year and is set to conclude in June. Prague Engineering is committed to delivering 35 switches and three crossings to Melbourne.

According to Prague Engineering, the journey is extended by up to four weeks, and long containers are used to transport the rails. “All handovers before expeditions take place without the customer’s participation; the products are accepted only by our technical control department,” said Robert Masarovič, the head of Prague Engineering.

The rails used to be transported to Australia by air, but now, Lucie Bolková from Prague Engineering says this is rather exceptional. “Due to the higher price, air transport is used exceptionally, and in the case of an urgent situation, such as a crash or a change in the construction schedule and the resulting need to have the product in Melbourne earlier than planned,” explained Bolková. So far, everything is being managed by sea.

Prague Engineering has been collaborating with Melbourne for quite some time, having sent tram rails to Auckland, New Zealand. Rail production is energy-intensive, and last year, the company put into operation the largest photovoltaic power plant in the capital in the halls in Prague’s Vinohrady. However, even that cannot cover all consumption.