CZECH open-access operator RegioJet has announced that it will shortly sign a contract with Pesa Bydgoszcz for the supply of 18 200km/h EMUs to operate express services on line R9 from Prague to Havlíčkův Brod and Jihlava/Brno.

RegioJet has now signed the 15-year R9 operating contract that was awarded by the Czech Ministry of Transport in March, having won the tender against the incumbent Czech Railways (ČD) with a bid of Koruna 4.93bn ($US 223.6m) against ČD’s offer of Koruna 5.86bn.

For the start of RegioJet operations on line R9 in December 2026, Pesa is to supply 18 low-floor EMUs in two versions, seating a total of 200 and 300 passengers respectively. First class seating will make up 12% of total train capacity.

The new trains will be air-conditioned and equipped with free onboard passenger Wi-Fi. They will be fully compliant with the EU TSI for passengers with reduced mobility, with toilets that are accessible to passengers in wheelchairs.

Infrastructure on the Prague - Brno route is to be upgraded over the coming years, and the government is currently taking forward a project to design, plan and build a high-speed line between the capital and Brno, the second-largest city in the Czech Republic.

At present Jihlava is not served by R9 trains, and when the new operating contract starts at the end of 2026 it will have a direct service to Prague. Both RegioJet’s Prague - Brno and Prague - Jihlava services will operate to a regular interval pattern timetable of one train every 2 hours.

“This competition confirmed RegioJet's opinion that quality improvement in railways can be achieved simply by opening the market, not by spending European money on the purchase of rolling stock,” says RegioJet’s owner, Mr Radim Jančura. “The state should invest in the construction of infrastructure.”

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