On Sunday 28 August 2022, the first of 37 new trains purchased by the South Moravian Region was officially presented to the public in Brno at the main railway station.
Their production started two years ago. They are a type of electric railway units from the Škoda Group. The first units will run for the first time on the electrified lines from Brno during the autumn of this year.
The financial volume of the entire project is CZK 6.651 billion (excluding VAT). The South Moravian Region will draw a financial subsidy of CZK 5.5 billion from the Operational Programme Transport of the European Union, which will cover approximately 85% of the cost.
“We are the first region in the Czech Republic to buy its own trains. We are replacing old trains that are often over fifty years old. This will bring incomparable comfort and convenience for passengers. Since it is a tradition that trains are somehow named, we have decided for names that clearly belong to South Moravia. These are grape varieties. So you can already ride to work in, for example, Müller, Chardonnay or Merlot.”
There are 31 four-car units (333 seats) and 6 two-car units (146 seats) with modern European train control system ETCS, reaching speeds of up to 160 km/h. The units are equipped with new, more comfortable seats on cantilevers (i.e., attached to the side of the vehicle). In combination with the attachment of the seats to the sides, this has created new space for luggage or possibly scooters. There is also considerably more space for prams and bicycles in the vehicles. The overhead shelves are elongated, improving the clarity and appearance of the interior.
There will be a changing counter in the bathroom, and the vehicles include bins for larger volumes of waste. Of course, there is air conditioning, Wi-Fi and 230V sockets as well as USB ports. The information and camera system is newly designed. To increase safety, images from various parts of the vehicle can be projected randomly onto the displays for passengers and the driver. Occasionally, images from the front exterior camera will also appear on the displays. Interestingly, the windows are more permeable to mobile signals.
The interior design is complemented by graphic elements of the South Moravian Region. Probably for the first time in our railway and urban transport, Moravia will be equipped with AEDs (defibrillators), which can help save a life in case of cardiac arrest directly on the train.
The new electric trains will run mainly on two backbone lines – S2 (Křenovice – Sokolnice – Brno – Blansko – Skalice nad Svitavou – Letovice), S3 (Níhov – Tišnov – Brno hl. n. – Vranovice – Šakvice – Hustopeče / Tišnov – Brno hl. n. – Židlochovice). The first carrier to operate the units is České dráhy. From December 2024, the units will be operated by the carrier that emerges from the tender.
“Looking to the future, I see these Moravia trains as the pride of our region. Currently, the approval process of the rail vehicles is underway at the Railway Authority, and until the end of this process, the exact date of deployment of the vehicles with passengers cannot be predicted, as it will depend on the conditions of the Railway Authority’s decision. However, we expect that a test operation with passengers will be launched during the autumn.”
“I must say that Brno and Moravia suit our trains! It is great that another region of the Czech Republic will be operating modern and comfortable trains. I believe that they will be popular with the residents and visitors of the region and I look forward to them providing quality and safe transport for decades to come. In addition to the elements of comfort that passengers will experience, it is also important to emphasise the comfortable workplace for the driver and safety features, including the ETCS signalling system, which is becoming standard on our lines.”
This article was originally published by Škoda Group.
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