ÖBB ordered an initial batch of 23 Railjets worth Euros 244m in February 2006, and in September 2007 awarded Siemens a second contract for 44 trains. However with its financial position deteriorating, ÖBB opted last year to reduce the total number of sets on order to 51, 40 of which have been delivered so far.
CD confirmed last December that it was interested in taking on the redundant trains, and a deal was announced in June. However, the signing of the contract was delayed by a legal challenge from Škoda, which argued it was able to offer CD an alternative train that was both less costly and of comparable quality. Last month the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition (UOHS) ruled in favour of CD, allowing the order to proceed. CD insists it has negotiated "favourable terms" with ÖBB, and that the procurement was based on negotiated procedure without publication, a practice that complies with Czech and European law.
Each Railjet is 185.5m long (without a locomotive) and comprises six intermediate cars and a driving trailer. The ÖBB trains each accommodate 316 economy passengers, with 76 in first and 16 in premium class. CD plans to deploy its trains on international routes, and domestically on the Brno - Prague - Ústí nad Labem corridor, with power provided by Škoda-built Class 380 multi-system locomotives.