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Record Growth in the First Half of 2013

During the first six months of this year, ČD has taken possession into its assets of new vehicles worth more than CZK 5 billion…

Rekordní přírůstky za první pololetí roku 2013These constitute a record 49 pieces, most of which are electric and diesel units intended for regional transport. Travel aboard local (Os) trains in many places is thus at a level which was formerly only available on InterCity or EuroCity connections. Passengers travelling on long-distance trains will also appreciate modernised passenger and dining carriages, and electric locomotives of the highest quality.

Our customers in practically every region of the Czech Republic have noticed a significant improvement in the level of comfort aboard ČD trains this year. A record number of new regional vehicles have been (and will continue to be) put into operation this year, and the modernisation of long-distance trains has been accelerated as well. The value of the new and modernised vehicles which ČD has taken possession of from January through June 2013 amounts to a respectable CZK 6 billion. In the interest of objectivity, however, it is necessary to add that some of the locomotives, units and carriages were put into test operations already during the course of last year.

Regional trains offer comfort about which buses can only dream

The number of new vehicles acquired is evidently a record – 49 pieces in just six months! If we divide the units statistically into carriages, we can even count 96 pieces. The value of these vehicles is CZK 5.15 billion. The majority are accounted for by regional transport. These are the two last class 471 (CityElefant) electric units and 13 class 440, 640 and 650 RegioPanthers. In both cases, production was executed by the domestic concern Škoda Transportation. Furthermore, ČD took possession into its assets of 19 diesel RegioSharks from Polish company Pesa. In this category, there are another 3 RegioSpiders from Swiss company Stadler (manufactured in Berlin). The new regional trains offer passengers the usual level of comfort in Europe today, which just a few years ago was only provided in the Czech Republic by long-distance EuroCity category trains.

The interiors are accessible and air-conditioned. Passengers using wheelchairs, seniors, mothers with baby carriages, as well as cyclists can travel easily aboard these trains. Passengers have electrical outlets at their disposal for charging small electronic devices, and on certain trains also a Wi-Fi internet connection. The toilets operate in a closed system, so passengers can use them even when the train is stopped. This is thus a level of comfort not offered by any buses in regional transport!

Help for long-distance connections

Also continuing is the process of modernising older vehicles, which at present concerns mainly long-distance transport. During the first half of this year, ČD has taken delivery of 31 modernised vehicles worth CZK 850 million. Passengers can thus travel in upgraded class Bbdgmee passenger carriages and eat in class WRmee dining carriages. As part of the modernisation, ČD also obtained 6 class 961 driving trailers, nicknamed Marmots. These have been deployed on regional as well as long-distance connections. This number also includes two class 842 modernised railcars, which are usually used in regional transport. A great help for long-distance (domestic and international) connections are of course class 380 electric locomotives from Plzeň-based company Škoda Transportation. After years of waiting, ČD is finally taking possession of them into its assets, and more importantly deploying them in test operations abroad (see the other article on this page). Thanks to ČD’s expansive renewal of rolling stock, the national rail carrier has significantly enhanced its competitiveness on the market.

Petr Horálek

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