SLOVAKIAN state railway company ZSSK has signed a contract with a consortium of Škoda Transportation and ŽOS Trnava to build nine RegioPanter EMUs with an option for a further 11. Including the option, the contract is worth €170m.

The order, which was agreed in August, is for an initial nine 106m-long four-car dual-voltage (3kV dc and 25kV ac) EMUs which will seat 343 passengers. They will be capable of 160km/h. Deliveries are due to be completed by the end of 2023, and will follow on from a similar €160m order placed in March 2018 which is currently being delivered.

The first nine EMUs will operate in the Košice and Prešov regions, taking the number of RegioPanter EMUs operating in these areas to 34. If the option is exercised, that will eventually rise to 45.

The EMUs will be fitted with air-conditioning, LED interior lighting and fully-accessible toilets for passengers with reduced mobility. They will also be equipped with sliding stairs for platforms not meeting the standard 550m height. The RegioPanter EMUs will be fitted with improved camera systems, a more modern information system and monitors, and high-performance Wi-Fi.

In the same manner as the previous order, production will be split between ŽOS Trnava, which will build the intermediate coaches, and Škoda Transportation, which will build the driving vehicles, marshal the trains into their final formation and carry out all testing and commissioning before the EMUs are handed over to ZSSK.

“Another order for these new EMUs confirms that we produce modern and high-quality trains and that passengers are satisfied with them,” says Mr Miloš Kyselica, ŽOS Trnava deputy chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO.

There are currently 20 RegioPanter EMUs operating in Slovakia with ZSSK, with a further five to enter service by the end of the year. Deliveries of these trains began in February 2020.