The low-floor trains will have a maximum speed of 160km/h and will be equipped to operate on both 3kV dc and 25kV ac electrification used in the Czech Republic.

The new fleet was ordered through an option on a Koruna 6bn ($US 277.1m) framework contract signed in March 2019 for up to 50 trains. ČD previously ordered 31 two-cars trains under the contract.

The first trains from the original order are currently undergoing tests at the Railway Research Institute’s (VUZ) Velim test centre and will begin operation on the Pilsen - Mariánské Lázně - Cheb - Karlovy Vary line from mid-2021.

A three-car RegioPanter in ČD livery/ © Quintus Vosman

The announcement follows the purchase of 29 three-car 240-seat RegioPanters under a separate Koruna 9.6bn framework agreement signed in November for up to 60 trains. The full fleet of 79 RegioPanters is expected to be delivered by 2024.

The new trains will be equipped with ETCS, CCTV, improved passenger information systems including Braille signage, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, accessible toilets, charging sockets for devices and electric wheelchairs, and multi-purpose spaces for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

The trains will also be capable of being equipped with automatic train operation (ATO) equipment.

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