Under the contract signed on July 3, Siemens will be responsible for the engineering, production of the car bodies, delivery of the bogies and the dynamic commissioning as well as authorisation while Škoda will handle the electric and mechanic final assembly and the static commissioning, and will supply auxiliary converters and control cabinets.

The coaches will be formed into five-car trains and will have semi-rigid rod couplings and pressure-tight gangway connections. At each end there will be a standard UIC coupling that enables the cars to be operated with different types of cars and locomotives.

The trains will be configured with first-class seating in the end car followed by a multi-purpose car with second-class seating, an information point and a compartment for the conductor. It will include three spaces for wheelchairs, charging stations for electric wheelchairs, a barrier-free toilet and an electric lift for entering and exiting the coach. It will also include a cinema for families with children, space for baby buggy and a diaper-changing table, as well as room for eight bicycles.

Three further second-class cars will follow the multi-purpose car.

The train has an overall length of 132m, 330 seats with Wi-Fi reception, air-conditioning, tables, power outlets and USB ports, and a top speed of 200km/h.

“The new concept combines the comfort and equipment of high-speed trains with the advantages offered by locomotive-hauled trains," says ČD CEO Mr Pavel Krtek. “This will enable us to further strengthen our competitiveness in mainline transport, not only within the Czech Republic, but also in Central Europe.”