CZECH REPUBLIC: Electric services have begun running on the Olomouc – Uničov – Šumperk line, which is to become SŽ’s first regional route to be controlled exclusively using ETCS.
The national infrastructure manager has modernised the route under a project co-funded by the European Union.
Modernisation of the 29 km single-track section from Olomouc to Uničov was completed in 2021 at a cost of KC4·2bn. As well as electrification by Subterra, OHL ŽS, Eurovia and EŽ Praha, the project included track renewals, bridge replacement and refurbishment of four stations. Parts of the route have been cleared for 160 km/h operation. The line has been electrified at 3 kV DC, but with provision for future conversion to 25 kV 50 Hz. Regular electric services on this section were introduced with effect from November 22.
Electric operation on the remaining 29 km from Uničov to Libina and Šumperk began with the December 11 timetable change, following a similar upgrading costed at KC3·5bn project. However, the maximum speed on this section is limited to 100 km/h.
The whole line is managed from a control centre at Olomouc. From January 1 the route is due to be operated exclusively using ETCS. Trial running with the new train control technology began on November 25, five months later than initially anticipated.
The Olomouc – Šumperk service is to be operated by a dedicated fleet of three-car Class 640.2 RegioPanter electric multiple-units which are being supplied by Škoda Transportation. ČD intends to allocate 27 of these sets for use in the Olomouc region. The first two EMUs entered service on December 20. Until the remaining sets arrive, ČD will deploy some of its ETCS-equipped Class 362 electric locomotives and Class 650.2 two-car RegioPanter EMUs on the route.
- SŽ has completed electrification of the 6·3 km Kadaň-Prunéřov to Kadaň-předměstí route at 25 kV 50 Hz, enabling the launch on December 11 of a direct service U1 from Děčín. This is operated by seven Class 640.1 RegioPanter EMUs which have been converted for dual-system operation.