CZECH REPUBLIC: The first four of 50 Viaggio Comfort push-pull coaches which a consortium of Siemens Mobility and Škoda Transportation is building for national operator ČD are undergoing acceptance trials at the Velim test circuit.
The tests involve all four types that are to be supplied: an Ampz first class coach, Bmpz second-class coach, Bbdgmpz second class multifunctional car and Bmpz second class end car.
In July 2018 ČD placed a KC3bn order for 50 Viaggio Comfort 200 km/h loco-hauled coaches, based on vehicles which Siemens had previously supplied to ČD and ÖBB for Railjet services.
Siemens is responsible for the manufacturing of the bodyshells and bogies, dynamic testing and vehicle authorisation, while Škoda is supplying auxiliary converters, control cabinets and undertaking the final assembly and static commissioning.
The air-conditioned coaches will be formed into 10 five-car fixed rakes with semi-permanent bar couplings and pressure-tight gangways, giving a length of 132 m. The end cars will have a standard UIC coupling, and two rakes can be coupled together to operate in multiple.
Each set will offer a total of 330 seats, wi-fi and 230 V and USB sockets. One coach in each rake will be a multi-purpose car with second class seating, an information point, a conductor’s compartment, three spaces for wheelchairs, a PRM TSI compliant toilet, an electric lift, a family area with a cinema, pram space and changing table, and a space for eight bicycles.
It will be possible to flexibly add individual first and second class coaches, dining cars, multifunctional cars or driving trailers to increase capacity and enable push-pull operation.
ČD plans to put the new Viaggio Comfort sets into regular operation from December 2021 on the Západní Expres and Krušnohor domestic long-distance services on the Praha – Plzeň – Cheb (Ex6) and Praha – Ústí nad Labem – Karlovy Vary – Cheb (R15) routes. It had initially planned to deploy them on the Praha – Bratislava – Budapest Metropolitan international services.