CZECH Railways (ČD) has launched a tender worth up to Koruna 32bn ($US 1.2bn) for new electric express trains as part of its 2030 strategy. The EMU 350 project, named for the minimum number of seats to be provided on each train, will include an initial order for 60 with the first to be delivered in 2025.

The new fleet will be used for long-distance services, and will have a maximum speed of 200km/h to meet the requirements for access to future Czech high-speed lines while also being optimised for braking and acceleration to allow frequent station stops

The trains must meet all European standards, including for passengers with reduced mobility with facilities such as step-free access and a wheelchair-accessible toilet. There will also be braille and voice guidance for visually-impaired passengers. Each train will have spaces for two wheelchairs, children’s buggies and bicycles.

Each train will have first and second class, both with face-to-face and airline-style seating, and at-seat power sockets, Wi-Fi, a passenger information and entertainment portal and a vending machine for refreshments.

The trains must be able to reverse en route easily, meaning EMUs will be preferred to locomotive-hauled trains, and the new trains must be able to operate as a pair in multiple for part of the journey before splitting to serve different destinations.

The trains must be able to operate under 3kV dc and 25kV ac electrification, and will be equipped with ETCS.

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