The national carrier Czech Railways (České dráhy – ČD) continues to modernize its fleet serving long-distance domestic and international lines.
The consortium of Siemens Mobility and Škoda Transportation has won the tender for 20 Viaggio Comfort nine-car non-traction units including control cars, designed for a maximum operating speed of 230 km/h.
The cars will be delivered from 2024 to 2026 and the order is valued at around half a billion EUR.
“We are pleased that ČD is once again relying on our successful Viaggio passenger cars for expanding and modernizing its services”, says Gerhard Greiter, CEO of Region North-East Europe at Siemens Mobility. “These new cars will bear the mark of our Czech engineering department. They, for example, score points with barrier-free access for all passengers and quiet travel conditions at high speeds for comfortable journeys. Our state-of-the-art cars will help make sustainable rail transportation in Czech Republic even more attractive.”
“The Czech Republic is planning to increase the speed limit on its conventional rail lines to 200 km/h and build high-speed lines, enabling trains to run faster than the current limit of 160 km/h. That’s why we must continue with our planned investments in new trains that meet the standards for vehicles operating on both conventional and high-speed networks in Central Europe. This will strengthen our long-term strategic partnerships in international transport as well as our position in long-distance transport”, explains Ivan Bednárik, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of ČD, adding: “The units will be equipped with the most advanced features available on the current European market and will offer passengers the highest level of comfort.”
The new 180 cars are intended for ČD passenger transport and two additional cars are supposed to be purchased by the Czech Railway infrastructure provider for the purpose of rail testing. The new train cars have a number of innovative features: Passengers will appreciate adjustable seats in first and second class, charging sockets for e-bikes, and a state-of-the-art bistro area. WiFi connections, frequency-transparent windows for improved mobile phone reception, and an on-board information and electronic reservation system will be standard. The nine-car trains will also be equipped with wireless mobile phone chargers in first class, a children’s cinema, and storage space for 12 bicycles.
The cars will be approved for operation in the Czech Republic and neighboring European countries such as Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland. The interoperability of the vehicles will be ensured by meeting the respective regional specifications. The control cars will be equipped with an on-board unit of the European train protection system ETCS as well as national train protection systems.
Czech Railways previously ordered 50 Viaggio Comfort passenger cars from Siemens Mobility and Škoda Transportation in 2018.