The European Investment Bank is proposing a CZK 6392 million (EUR 260 million) funding for Czechia’s rolling stock procurement. The financing would be provided based on a total eligible cost of CZK 13000 million (EUR 528 million).
Following the appraisal, funding will be provided to České dráhy (ČD) to acquire 20 new locomotives and 182 coaches, as well as retrofit of around 191 units of the existing fleet with the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).
ČD is acquiring 20 Viaggio Comfort nine-car trains (182 coaches) from the consortium of Siemens Mobility and Škoda Group under a EUR 500 million contract. 180 coaches will be used by the railway operator to provide passenger services, while 2 railcars will be used by the Czech Railway Administration Authority for track testing purposes. The first carriages arrived at Velim testing centre to obtain approval for regular operation. They will enter international passenger services from 2024 to Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia, providing 555 seats. The new vehicles are designed to run at a maximum speed of 230 km/h.
In 2022, Siemens Mobility was awarded a contract for the supply of 50 Vectron MS locomotives and the delivery of their maintenance services for a period of 15 years. They will be equipped with ETCS allowing them to operate on the railway networks of the above – mentioned countries as well as in Poland.
In June 2022, under the CEF 2 Transport call for proposals (for 2021) for which the European Commission provided a EUR 5.4 billion financing, České dráhy obtained a EUR 15.6 million grant to retrofit 115 vehicles with ETCS baseline 3. After the installation of the new system will be installed, the vehicles will enter operation on the Baltic-Adriatic, Rhine-Danube and Orient/East-Med TEN-T corridors.
Under the 2022 CEF Transport call for proposals, České dráhy was also selected to retrofit its vehicles with the ETCS. EUR 23.7 million is the European grant that will support the retrofitment of 161 vehicles (161 OBUs) of nine different types with ERTMS/ETCS Level 2 Baseline 3. The main benefit of the project will be the increased interoperability, efficiency and safety of the rail traffic.
Czechia’s rolling stock procurement and vehicle retrofitting programme will increase rail transport attractiveness reducing the journey time and increasing the level of comfort for passengers, while promoting more efficient operation, reducing maintenance costs, lowering energy consumption.