The project has been named DMU 120, which refers to the seating capacity for each train. Delivery is required within 25 months of the contract award and the deadline for submissions is September 10. Additional orders are dependent on CD winning tenders for regional passenger operation contracts.

The power rating of the new trains must be sufficient to offer journey time savings on routes compared with the ageing diesel trains that they will replace. The trains must also offer high levels of availability and affordable maintenance. At least three trains must be able to operate in multiple, and in line with European directives and TSIs, the new trains must be equipped with onboard ETCS from the start of operations. The Czech Republic announced a national ETCS rollout plan on August 4.

The trains must also offer barrier-free access for passengers with limited mobility, including the use of plates to bridge the gap between the train and the platform. The height of the train must also match that of modern platforms in the Czech Republic while access will be improved by the use of braille signage and an audiovisual information system.

While the current order is for DMUs, Mr Michal Kraus, CD’s deputy CEO and director of operations, says the operator is tracking the development of battery trains.

“As soon as our customers are willing to order train services with battery propulsion on non- electrified lines, we will have a tender to order such trains,” he says. “The future purchase of battery propelled ecologically friendly trains will be dependent on the guarantee and support for financing of such trains, for example by the European Union or the Czech Republic.”

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