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First Blue Taurus is Presented as the Spirit of Brno

The first Taurus locomotive in ČD’s corporate colours was christened in Brno on Wednesday, 18 September...

První modrý Taurus se představil jako Spirit of BrnoStarting next year, seven Tauruses in a blue-on-blue design will pull the railjet units which the national rail carrier has ordered for the Prague – Vienna – Graz international line. The locomotive, which ČD will lease, was named after the South Moravian capital.

What will the Tauruses that will pull the Czech railjets look like? After the official presentation in Brno we now know. Representatives of ČD, Austrian Railways (ÖBB), the company Siemens and the South Moravia Region festively presented the class 1216 locomotive in a combination of light and dark blue, christened romantically as the Spirit of Brno. There will be seven of them in total – the same as the number of Siemens Viaggio Comfort units ordered.

From December 2014, a total of ten connections daily will run at two-hour intervals on the route between Prague, Brno, Vienna and Graz. Railjet units will be deployed for all of them, although some will be in the red colours of ÖBB, including the locomotives. All Tauruses will receive the ETCS or Mirel train protection systems, which are necessary for operations in the Czech Republic. “Our train drivers from the Břeclav operational facility are prepared to participate in the traction of these trains,” confirms Brno Rail Vehicle Depot chief Zdeněk Průša.

Class 1216 has been in operation for seven years already

The first ES 64 U4 class ÖBB 1216 multi-system electric locomotives, known more commonly by the name Taurus, were put into operation seven years ago. This is still the highest-performance locomotive produced by Siemens. On the Czech rail network, we have been able to see these engines regularly for five years now on EuroCity trains from Vienna to Prague and return. Let’s remember that Tauruses operate on the basis of modern three-phase asynchronous traction technology intended for universal locomotives of the highest performance category, and offer exceptionally high reliability. “Moreover, the Taurus locomotive broke the world speed record, which it set in September 2006 on the Ingolstadt – Nuremberg high-speed line. There, with an attached measuring vehicle, it travelled at a speed of 357 kilometres per hour! And this was a series locomotive without any special modifications; only the speed limiter – which is normally set at 230 km/h in these engines – had been disabled in the computer control system, and the windscreen wipers and snow plough had been removed,” explains Roman Kokšal, Director of the Transport Division at Siemens Czech Republic.

They’re looking forward to railjets not only in Brno

“Service aboard railjet trains will undoubtedly be just as prestigious as was the case aboard the first EuroCity connections initiated after the Velvet Revolution from Prague to Vienna. I remember that time fondly and I’m convinced that it will be an honour for everyone to work aboard the railjet connections. We’re prepared for these operations and have commensurate on-board personnel with appropriate language skills and the ability to advise our customers, who, in turn, will experience absolutely top comfort at the European level,” says Passenger Transport Supervisor Miroslav Kováčříká from RCVD Brno, one of the first train drivers to drive EuroCity trains in the Czech Republic, with pride in his voice. “Railjets with Tauruses will be an attractive alternative to the overcrowded motorway, with services custom-tailored for various groups of passengers such as business class for managers and children’s cinema for families with children,” adds KCOD Brno’s Director, Pavel Karšulín. “Railjets represent a milestone for us in international long-distance transport. We’re planning the first test journeys for the middle of next year, and we will deploy all seven trains under the ČD Railjet brand,” says Daniel Kurucz, ČD’s Executive Director for Operations and Technology. Martin Harák

Schedule for painting locomotives

1216 235 presented on 18 September 2013 in Brno
1216 236 to be completed by 16 December 2013
1216 149 to be completed between 12/2013 and 3/2014
1216 150 to be completed between 12/2013 and 3/2014
1216 237 to be completed by 2 June 2014
1216 234 to be completed by 7 July 2014
1216 233 to be completed by 28 July 2014

This is a working schedule.

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