CD is currently discussing contracts for the operation of regional train services after 2019 with Czech regional public transport authorities, which consider the modernisation of rolling stock to be a key issue.

One of the aims of the framework contract is to ensure that new rolling stock can be procured and delivered within a short timeframe. “We want to be a good partner for the regions, so we are preparing for very quick introduction of new trains,” says Mr Miroslav Kupec, CD board member for technology, asset management and rolling stock. “This year we want to select a supplier of EMUs and as soon as we sign contracts with the regions we can immediately specify the production of new trains.”

Each set must be capable of seating 140-160 passengers and up to three sets will operate in multiple to provide 420-480 seats. The trains will have spaces for wheelchairs, pushchairs and up to eight bicycles.

The trains will be compliant with the European Technical Specification for Interoperability for Passengers with Reduced Mobility (TSI-PRM).

The 160km/h EMUs will be equipped to operate under the Czech Republic’s 3 kV dc and 25 kV 50 Hz ac electrification systems and the fleet will be fitted with ETCS.

The contract could be worth more than Koruna 6bn ($US 280m) if all options are exercised