CZECH RAILWAYS finally signed an agreement with Fiat Ferroviaria on January 31 amending the contract for Class 680 tilting trains. Negotiations had been under way for much of 1999, following the bankruptcy of CKD Dopravní systémy, which had intended to assemble the trains in co-operation with Fiat and Siemens. CD will now get seven trains for KC4·4bn, which was the original price for 10.

The deal must be ratified by a banking consortium led by Ceskoslovenska obchodni banka, which is giving CD a credit not guaranteed by the state. CD has agreed to pay a 15% deposit, so the contractors can resume work. This should see the first prototype ready for test running by the end of this year.