České dráhy will be spending 12.5 billion CZK on new and improved trains from Siemens Mobility and Škoda Transportation that will be gradually integrated between 2024 and 2026.
The new trains will start off by running from Prague via Ústí nad Labem to Hamburg or via Brno to Budapest and Vienna.
České dráhy’s order from Siemens and Škoda consists of 180 cars each holding 555 seats and with a maximum operating speed of 230 km an hour.
“In the Czech Republic, the plan is to increase the speed on conventional lines to 200 km an hour and to build high-speed lines. In the future, this will enable the operation of trains that can go faster than the current speed limit of 160 km an hour,” said Ivan Bednárik, head of České dráhy.
“This is one of the reasons why we’re continuing with the planned investments in new trains, which will meet the requirements of vehicles operating on both the conventional and high-speed networks in Central Europe. By doing this, we’ll strengthen our long-term partnerships in the industry of international transport and strengthen our position in long-distance transport.”
The new trains will be equipped with features typical of the other high-speed trains in Europe, like inter-vehicle connections that allow all passengers to pass from car to car, as well as better isolation that cuts out noise, dust, and cold coming from the outside elements.
Each train comes as a set of nine cars and will be made up of first and second class, as well as a restaurant area, a childrens play area, and a storage area for luggage and bicycles.
The new update comes after a tough year for the Czech Republic’s main railway company. At the turn of the new year, České dráhy revealed they would be downsizing staff and reducing wages of existing employees to cope with hardships from the COVID-19 restrictions.