CZECH REPUBLIC: National passenger operator ČD and Škoda Transportation are to retrofit two Class 650 RegioPanter electric multiple-units with battery packs to enable operation on non-electrified tracks.

The two units will be tested on regional services around Brno from late 2019.

The lithium-titanate batteries and a BMS control unit will be mounted on the roof of one of the driving cars.

ČD expects the use of batteries to increase reliability compared to diesel-only trains, cut journey times on short non-electrified sections of line and reduce air pollution and fuel consumption.

Škoda Transportation has used similar battery technology on 28T ForCity Classic trams supplied to the Turkish cities of Konya and Eskişehir.