ČD orders Škoda BEMUs

BEMUs for Moravian-Silesian region

České dráhy and Škoda Group signed a contract for the supply of 15 two-car BEMUs for Moravian-Silesian region. CZK 3.5 billion (EUR 141.57 million) is the value of the contract which includes the delivery of sets of selected components of the exchange system, such as complete chassis per unit, personnel training and provision of service for a period of up to 15 years. About one quarter of the contract value is for maintenance and a set of spare parts for the replacement system.

“Cooperation with the Moravian-Silesian region enabled us to become the first carrier in the Czech Republic to order and put into operation dual electric-battery trains (BEMU) that are powered by electricity either from the traction line or from the traction battery. The deployment of these trains reduces carbon gas emissions when operating on non-electrified lines and makes it possible to offer citizens more direct connections that combine travel, for example, on main electrified lines and secondary lines without electrification,” Michal Krapinec, the CEO of Czech Railways, said.

Škoda Group must deliver around 7 of the new trains no later than 29 months after signing the contract, and the rest in the following months. At least 7 trains will thus be available no later than November 2026.

This will enable them to be deployed within the framework of the current contract with the Moravian-Silesian region in the transitional year, which the contract provides for, e.g. if the tender procedure is extended. The carrier cannot fundamentally influence its length, as it must follow legal deadlines and other procedural rules.

The BEMUs will enable the introduction of direct trains without a transfer from the regional capital Ostrava to various places in the region where electrified lines do not lead, such as Krnov, Nový Jičín or Budišov nad Budišovou.

On the electrified lines, they will be powered directly from the traction line and the traction batteries will also be recharged on them. Recharging them will also be possible during recuperation on non-electrified tracks – when driving downhill or when braking to stations and stops.

“In the Moravian-Silesian region, we support clean mobility in the long term. Electric units are significantly more environmentally friendly. Therefore, it is desirable that there are more such cars on the railways in our region. Electrification of tracks is one of our main priorities in the field of transport. Passengers will certainly appreciate this change, traveling will be more comfortable, more efficient and safer,” the Deputy Governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region for Transport Radek Podstawka, said.

The 52.9-metre-long trains will have a total capacity of 323 passengers, with 150 seats of which 8 at the 1st class. They will be able to run at 160 km/h in electric mode and 120 km/h in battery mode, with a minimum battery range of 80 km.

The new BEMUs for Moravian-Silesian region will be equipped with the ETCS Level 2 BL3.

Czechia’s first BEMUs for Moravian-Silesian region “will offer passengers all the comfort that is common in our modern trains. We are also counting on the upcoming conversion on the railway lines, so the units will be equipped to operate both under the 3 kV DC and 25 kV 50 Hz AC systems. It is a matter of course that they are equipped with a modern train security system and ETCS and GSM-R radio communication,” said Jiří Ješeta, member of the board of directors and deputy general director of ČD for passenger transport, about the equipment of the new trains.

The low-floor dual electric-battery trains will be barrier-free, equipped with air-conditioning system, a modern audio-visual information system, electrical outlets and USB, and will provide passengers on-board Wi-Fi network.

The new trains will be fitted with special places for prams and bicycles and will be adapted to passengers with reduced mobility, providing spaces for wheelchairs.

The new BEMUs for Moravian-Silesian region will be put into operation on the following routes:

  • Ostrava – Opava – Krnov;
  • Ostrava – Suchdol nad Odrou – Nový Jičín (mainly working days);
  • Ostrava – Budišov nad Budišovka (in weekends);
  • Ostrava – Český Těšín – Frýdek-Místek (– Ostrava), after the reconstruction of line 323 the circular line.

“I believe that the railways will be able to offer effective and professional cooperation in the future as well. Regional transport in our region has been undergoing a transformation since December last year, we are starting to see more and more modern cars on the tracks. We can consider the deployment of BEMU units as another big step towards higher quality and more modern travel in our country,” the Governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region, Josef Bělica, said.

Share on: