CROATIAN Railways (HŽPP) has signed a contract with Končar Electric Vehicles for the supply of prototype battery-powered trains and six charging stations that will be installed at Split, Osijeck, Varaždin, Bjelovar, Virovitica and Pula.  

The Kuna 129m ($US 18.3m) contract is part of the Application of Green Technologies in Rail Passenger Transport component of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan 2021-26, which provided grants amounting to Kuna 100m towards the project.

The contract is for one battery train (BMV) able to operate on non-electrified lines and also one battery electric train (BEMV) able to operate on both non-electrified lines using batteries, and along electrified lines using conventional pantographs.

Both trains will comprise low-floor vehicles equipped with ramps and specially adapted toilets for passengers with reduced mobility. Other features include CCTV, audio-visual passenger information systems, Wi-Fi and spaces for bicycles.

The trains will have a range of up to 480km a day and can operate for up to 18 hours at a time.

The contract was signed by HZPP president, Mr Željko Ukić, and president of Končar Electric Vehicles, Mr Josip Ninić. Also attending was deputy prime minister and minister of the sea, transport and infrastructure, Mr Oleg Butković, and president of the management board of Končar Electrical Industry, Mr Gordan Kolak.

“The procurement of battery trains is a project supported by the European Union as part of the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, which focuses on research, development and innovation,” Ukić says. “The introduction of battery trains into traffic will improve local and regional connectivity, mobility and improve the quality of service. In traffic, it will be possible to functionally combine battery trains with new-generation, low-floor trains, which will ensure greater capacity and lower operating costs.” 

HŽPP has also recently awarded Končar a contract to supply seven DEMUs.

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