ŠKODA Transportation Association and ŽOS Trnava have handed over the 25th and final class 661 dual-voltage RegioPanter EMU for Slovak state railways ZSSK.

The €160m contract was awarded in March 2018 with deliveries commencing in February 2020. The order, the largest in ZSSK’s history, comprises 13 80m-long three-car trains, which seat 247 passengers, and 12 106m-long four-car trains seating 343 passengers.

Both types have a maximum speed of 160km/h and are powered by either 3kV dc or 25kV ac electrification.

The class 661s are fitted with electrical sockets, air-conditioning and LED interior lighting. They also have been equipped with internal passenger information screens, high-performance Wi-Fi and space for wheelchairs, prams and bicycles. Barrier-free boarding is possible on standard platform heights of 550mm.

ZSSK has deployed the EMUs mainly on the following lines:

  • Žilina - Trenčín,
  • Žilina - Čadca,
  • Čadca - Zwardoń, and
  • Žilina - Liptovský Mikuláš

“We have done everything in our power to put the new units into operation as soon as possible and provide passengers with more convenient services,” says Mr Roman Koreň, ZSSK CEO and chairman. The operator says the EMUs can be used for regional operation all electrified lines in Slovakia.

Production was split between ŽOS Trnava, which manufactured the intermediate coaches, and Škoda Transportation, which built the driving vehicles, marshalled the trains into their final formation and conducted all testing and commissioning before the EMUs were handed over to ZSSK.

In September this year, Škoda Transportation Association and ŽOS Trnava signed another contract with ZSSK to supply up to a further 20 class 661 EMUs. The initial order is for nine four-car trains, with an option for another 11. The first nine will operate in the Kosice and Prešov regions. They will be fitted with sliding stairs for platforms not meeting the standard 550m height. Deliveries are due to be completed by the end of 2023.