RegioPanter regional electric multiple-unit.

CZECH REPUBLIC: National passenger operator ČD announced a KC2·6bn order for 14 long-distance electric multiple-units based on Škoda Vagonka’s RegioPanter regional EMU family on August 5.

Deliveries are scheduled for 2015-16. The routes the EMUs will be deployed on are still be finalised, but ČD said the order forms part of its preparation for the opening of the long-distance passenger market and the withdrawal of older locomotive-hauled coaches.

The contract covers 10 five-car EMUs with 292 fixed and 16 tip-up seats, and four three-car EMUs with 162+13 seats. The air-conditioned 160 km/h units will be equipped to operate under both 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC electrification.

The inter-regional EMUs will have one door per coach side rather than the two of the regional units, with doors between the entrance vestibules and passenger saloons. There will be two classes of accommodation, additional bicycle and luggage spaces, seat and cycle reservation displays, wi-fi and power sockets. A family area will have internal doors operated by buttons rather than optical detectors to prevent inadvertent triggering by children’s movements.

Ivo Gurňák, Commercial Director at Škoda Vagonka, said the manufacturer also has ambitions to export EMUs from the Panter family to other customers in central and eastern Europe, including Germany.