The region will now negotiate exclusively with preferred bidder Leo Express Tenders and the 10-year contract is due to start in December 2019. The price of the operator\u2019s bid has not been disclosed.\r\n\r\nThe deal would be Leo Express\u2019 first PSO contract for the operation of regional rail services in the Czech Republic. However, the majority of services in the Pardubice region will still be operated by incumbent Czech Railways (CD) for at least the next 10 years. CD has said it will introduce more modern rolling stock on these services in the near future.\r\n\r\nFor the non-electrified Hanu\u0161ovice - Doln\u00ed Lipky route, Leo Express will lease a fleet of 15 Alstom Lint DMUs, which are currently in operation with Transdev in the German states of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. The 15-year-old 120km\/h trains will offer much better acceleration than the class 810 railbuses currently used on these routes, enabling Leo Express to make more stops without increasing journey times.\r\n\r\nThe Lint fleet will comprise 11 two-car sets, each seating 120 passengers, and four single-car trains, which seat 70.\r\n\r\nOn the electrified \u00dasti nad Orlici - \u0160t\u00edty line, Leo Express will use its existing Stadler Flirt EMUs, which currently operate commercial long-distance services from Prague to eastern Slovakia and Poland. These trains will be released from their current duties by the delivery of new inter-city EMUs from CRRC Zhuzhou. Leo Express ordered three of these trains in 2016 with options for up to 27 more.\r\n\r\nLeo Express reportedly wants to extend the electric services from \u00dasti nad Orlici to Prague at its own commercial risk. The operator will also offer direct connections between Pardubice and Wroclaw, Poland, and the Kralick\u00fd Sn\u0115\u017en\u00edk ski area on the Czech-Polish border. This would enable passengers from Pardubice to reach the slopes in less than two hours, offering an alternative to the car in an area where winter road travel can be difficult.\r\n\r\nCD rolling stock freed by the change of operator will be used to replace much older trains. CD has announced it will invest Koruna 40m ($US 1.8m) in the modernisation and upgrading of trains used in Pardubice, such as class 814 RegioNova DMUs and Stadler class 841 Regiospider diesel railcars, which will be equipped with passenger Wi-Fi, at-seat power sockets, and new passenger information systems.