České dráhy and Škoda Group have presented in Olomouc the first two RegioPanter electric multiple units in the presence of the Czech Minister of Transport Martin Kupka. Following the official ceremony, the trains started the first journey on the newly electrified railway line from Olomouc to Šumperk via Uničov.
“The popularity of rail transport is growing steadily, but if we want this to continue, we must offer modern vehicles that ensure both comfort and safety. This is exactly what RegioPanters represent, and they have gained popularity among passengers not only in the Czech Republic,” Tomáš Ignačák, the President of Škoda Group for Czechia and Slovakia said.
In 2020, ČD and Škoda signed a framework agreement for the delivery of 79 RegioPanter EMUs in 50 2-car and 29 3-car versions which will be delivered by 2024 and intended to initially run on the railway network of Olomouc, Moravian-Silesian and South Bohemian regions. In January 2022, the railway operator has ordered from Škoda 31 additional RegioPanter electric multiple units under the contract signed in 2020. The new EMUs are equipped with Wi-Fi, air-conditioning system, space for prams, bicycles and wheelchairs. They are also equipped with modern audiovisual information system and camera systems.
The modernised track from Olomouc to Šumperk is the most modern, fastest and also fully electrified regional track in the Czech Republic on which from the new year will be operated only by trains with European security ETCS, at speeds up to 160 km/h. Passengers can look forward not only to travel faster with the new and modern RegioPanter EMUs, but also to more frequent connections. From June, the Czech rail operator will provide services between Olomouc and Šumperk on working days with 83 connections, on Saturday with 46 and on Sunday with 48 connections.
Since the Olomouc – Šumperk track is a pilot project for the introduction of exclusive train operation under the supervision of ETCS system in the Czech Republic, the Ministry announced that will use the experience gained in the next two years for the smooth introduction of exclusive operation on the European corridors and gradually other railway lines.