ČD has awarded Škoda Transportation a KC5bn contract to supply a further 31 three-car RegioPanter EMUs.

CZECH REPUBLIC: National operator ČD has awarded Škoda Transportation a KC5bn contract to supply a further 31 three-car RegioPanter electric multiple-units.

They will be delivered from 2024 for use on the Praha–Kralupy nad Vltavou – Ústí nad Labem, Hradec Králové – Chlumec nad Cidlinou, Hradec Králové –Týniště nad Orlicí – Choceň and Hradec Králové – Jaroměř lines.

The EMUs will be fitted with ETCS and upgraded traction equipment, control systems and bogies.

Passenger facilities will include air-conditioning, first and second class seats, level boarding, PRM-compliant toilets, wi-fi and USB ports, 230 V charging sockets, an audio-visual information system and spaces for pushchairs and bicycles.

The order announced on December 21 used the final option under two framework contracts signed in 2019-20 which covered 50 two-car and 60 three-car RegioPanter EMUs worth more than KC15bn. Once delivered, the latest batch will take ČD’s Panter family to a total of 147 RegioPanter and 14 InterPanter EMUs totalling 436 cars.

On December 5 ČD put its Class 650 RegioPanter EMUs into trial service on the 25 kV 50 Hz electrified regional line 195 from Rybník to Lipno nad Vltavou. The units are being deployed irregularly at weekends to assess whether permanent operation would allow the introduction of direct trains from České Budějovice. The units replace Class 210 loco-hauled trains or Class 814 Regionova DMUs.

ČD has four RegioPanter EMUs in service in the Jihočeský region, which will be augmented by 10 slightly modified units by April 2022.

The Škoda Pars works at Šumperk is also modernising all 12 Class 440 3 kV DC RegioPanter EMUs into Class 640.1 dual-voltage units under a KC287m contract signed on June 29 2020. The units are to be redeployed on regional services in the Ústecký, Pardubice and Hradec Králové areas, with three completed by early December and two more to follow in early 2022.