CZECH REPUBLIC: One of the 18 Flirt electric multiple-units being supplied to Serbia formed the centrepiece of the Stadler presentation for the Rail Business Days 2024 trade fair at Ostrava’s Trojhalí Karolina centre.

National passenger operator SrbijaVoz ordered 18 trainsets, which were developed at the Stadler design office in Praha and manufactured by Stadler Polska in Siedlce. The unit on display was unveiled in a ceremony attended by SV Director General Ivan Bulajić, although the first sets have already been delivered to Serbia. They entered passenger service between Beograd and Užice on May 31.

During the fair, Stadler announced that it was developing a low-capacity regional trainset with alternative traction for use on non-electrified lines, designated as RS Zero. The train is envisaged as a successor to the successful RegioShuttle RS1 and articulated GTW platforms. The company is looking to offer single-car and two-car variants with capacity for between 70 and 150 passengers. According to Stadler insiders, a prototype will be unveiled at InnoTrans 2024, and the company anticipates that it should be approved for commercial operation by 2026.


Locomotives line up

Local manufacturer CZ Loko presented an EffiShunter 1000 for Hrochostroj and a DualShunter 2000 electro-diesel locomotive for Mercitalia Shunting & Terminal during the fair.

The DualShunter 2000 is intended for both heavy shunting and light mainline applications. It is able to take power from 3 kV DC electrification and has a Caterpillar C32 engine for operation on non-electrified lines. The locomotive has a continuous power rating of 2·2 MW in electric mode and 895 kW when running on diesel.

MIST has ordered an initial four locomotives, designated as Class 744.5. The first of these, 744 501, arrived in Italy on June 4 through the border crossing at Tarvisio Boscoverde. The locomotive was then transferred to the Pontremolese dry port at Santo Stefano di Magra, northeast of La Spezia, for testing and commissioning.


Meanwhile, national freight operator ČD Cargo was displaying the first of 10 Vectron multi-system locomotives that it has ordered from Siemens Mobility with the capability of operating through to Belgium and the Netherlands. The operator announced that five of its Vectrons would be named after famous personalities associated with rail transport in the Czech Republic. During the fair, locomotive 383 013 was named ‘Jan Perner’, after one of the early pioneers of railways in what would become the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Jan Perner (1810-45) studied engineering in Praha, and after a short period working for Gerstner on the railway to St Petersburg became responsible for overseeing the construction of the Praha - Dresden and Praha – Pardubice – Olomouc lines. He was the first person to die in a railway accident in Bohemia, being fatally injured during an inspection trip on the line to Pardubice, where he is also commemorated in the university’s transport faculty.

Automation in Latvia

lv-PV-Škoda_16Ev-Dāvis Kļaviņš

Photo: Dāvis Kļaviņš

During the fair, Škoda Group presented the first results from the Automatic Train Operation equipment fitted to its 16Ev RegioPanter electric multiple-units operating in Latvia.

The Škoda ATO is designed to provide driver assistance and optimise timetable performance with an emphasis on energy saving. In automatic mode, the equipment regulates traction and braking to maintain a set speed, and stabilises the train performance to reflect gradients and track profile information. It regulates braking when the line speed limits change and stops using a dynamically generated braking profile. The system requires accurate train location, which is calculated using onboard odometry and position information from multi-band GNSS satellites. It does not require modifications to the infrastructure, nor the installation of balises.


According to the manufacturer, energy savings of between 5% and 15% can be achieved, depending on factors such as weather conditions, the profile of the terrain, the track layout and the spacing of station stops. The ATO ensures more stable timetable performance and optimises operating costs, while improving overall service quality. Škoda estimates that the operational savings would enable train operators to recoup their investment in ATO within three years.

‘Operators are looking for a number of options to optimise energy consumption’, explained Matouš Pokorný, Škoda Group’s Development Team Leader. ‘Our ATO can react in real time to the current situation on the route and minimise energy losses. We have been testing the technology, and have deployed it on Škoda 16Ev RegioPanter units in Latvia. The results we got from the tests are very positive. Despite the challenging weather conditions in northern Europe, we were able to achieve energy savings approaching 12%.’