CZECH REPUBLIC: The local authorities which own the 19·3 km Železnice Desná line linking Šumperk with Kouty nad Desnou have directly awarded national operator ČD a contract to operate passenger services for 10 years from June 2016.
The route was taken over by the local authorities after ČD declined to repair extensive flood damage in 1997. Services are current operated under contract by Arriva Morava, but a KC350m EU-supported project to install 3 kV DC electrification was completed in November and the incumbent does not possess any electric rolling stock.
ČD is to deploy Škoda Transportation Class 640 RegioPanter three-car electric multiple-units, which will be able to run through from the independent line to Zábřeh na Moravě and the regional capital Olomouc.
Arriva Morava will continue to operate the 3 km non-electrified branch to Sobotín using ŽD’s four Class 810/814.2 DMUs.