In Pictures: Unveiling Ceremony For South Moravia’s New Electric Trains
The new trains are expected to come into operation sometime in the autumn. Photo Credit: JMK
Brno, Aug 29 (BD) – The South Moravian Region officially presented the first of a total of 37 new electric trains on Sunday, 28 August, at Brno’s main train station. Production of the electric railway units from Škoda Group started two years ago. The first such trains will leave Brno on electrified lines this autumn.
The cost of the entire project amounts to CZK 6.651 billion, 85% covered by a subsidy from the European Union’s Transport Operational Program of CZK 5.5 billion.
“We are the first region in the Czech Republic that bought its own trains. In this way we will replace the old trains, many of which are over 50 years old. It will bring incomparable comfort and convenience for passengers,” said Jan Grolich, Governor of the South Moravian Region. “Since it is a tradition that the trains are named somehow, we decided on names that clearly belong to South Moravia. They are varieties of grapes, so while on your way to work, you can drink Müller, Chardonnay or Merlot.”
The trains comprise 31 four-car units (333 seats) and six two-car units (146 seats), with modern European ETCS train security, reaching speeds of up to 160 km/h. The units are equipped with comfortable seats located on cantilevers (i.e. attached to the side of the vehicle). With the attachment of the seats to the side panels, a new space is created for luggage or scooters. There is also significantly more space in the carriages for strollers and bicycles. A changing counter will be available in the bathroom, and the vehicle includes more spacious trash cans, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, 230 V sockets, and USB ports.
To increase safety, on-board cameras from throughout the train will be projected onto displays for both the passenger and the driver, as well as images from the front external camera. The interior is designed with graphic elements of the South Moravian region.
The new electric trains will run mainly on two backbone lines – S2 (Křenovice – Sokolnice – Brno – Blansko – Skalice nad Svitavou – Letovice) and S3 (Níhov – Tišnov – Brno hl. n. – Vranovice – Šakvice – Hustopeče / Tišnov – Brno hl. . n. – Židlochovice). The trains will initially be operated by České dráhy, before handing over to another carrier from December 2024.
“Looking to the future, I see these Moravia trains as the pride of our region,” said Jiří Crha, regional councillor for transport. “The approval process for the vehicles is currently underway at the Railway Authority, and until this process is completed, the exact date of the first trips with passengers cannot be anticipated, as it will depend on the conditions of the Railway Authority’s decision. However, we expect that a trial run with passengers will begin in the autumn.”