GERMAN Rail (DB) subsidiary Arriva Group has signed a 10-year contract worth €94m to operate passenger services in the South Moravian region of the Czech Republic.

The contract awarded by the region is due to start in December 2024 and will see the introduction of 13 new Stadler GTW 2/6 trains, each with seats for 100 passengers and space for prams, wheelchairs and bicycles.

The low-floor, air-conditioned trains will be equipped with onboard Wi-Fi and sockets for charging small electronic devices.

This follows Arriva signing a 15-year contract in May to operate services in the Pilsen region, which it says has secured its position as the second-largest private operator in the Czech Republic.

Starting on December 10, the Pilsen contract is worth €82.5m and will see Arriva operate electric services for the first time in the Czech Republic.

A fleet of nine two-car Škoda series 650 RegioPanter EMUs will be deployed on the Horažďovice - Pilsen - Pňovany line. They are equipped with air-conditioning, internet access and charging facilities.

“We are delighted that our team has been successful in securing a contract in a completely new region of the Czech Republic, growing our business there,” says Ms Sian Leydon, Arriva Group managing director for mainland Europe.

She added that the South Moravian contract will expand on Arriva’s presence in the neighbouring region of Zlín, where the company has been operating the four routes of the Lot B network under a 10-year contract that started in December 2019.