Škoda Vagonka signed a contract to supply Czech Railways with fourteen electric single deck units of the “Panther family” fitted for inter-regional and long-distance transport. The new modern train units, costing 2.6 billion CZK, will be made between 2015 and 2016 and are going to serve on internal express train lines.
“Czech Railways will receive ten five-car and four three-car electric units with the capacity of 350 and 200 passengers respectively. They are going to service inter-regional and long-distance transport lines in the Czech Republic on electrified tracks with voltages of 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC and maximum speed of 160 km/h. The new units are based on the proven RegioPanther unit concept,” says Škoda Vagonka sales director Ivo Gurňák.
These will be low-floor units, which is going to make life easier not only for people with reduced mobility, especially wheelchair users and the elderly, but also for mothers with children. Compared to the current RegioPanther version, the new one will have only one boarding door per car. But at the same time, the boarding area will be separated from the passenger compartments by internal electrically-controlled doors.
The interior is going to be designed for long-distance transport not only by utilizing the most comfortable 1st and 2nd class seats, but also a complete interior with spaces for large luggage storage, expanded bike racks and compartments dedicated to passengers with small children. The whole train is air-conditioned. Of course there is also a modern audio-visual LCD information system, WiFi and multiple electrical outlets for PCs. The units will be equipped with a booking system not only for passenger seats, but also for booking space for bicycles.
“At present, there are 21 RegioPanther units in operation on local and regional lines in the Czech Republic. The first vehicles started servicing these lines in autumn of 2012. Five more RegioPanthers are planned to be delivered to the South-Moravian Region this year. We are moreover aspiring to succeed in delivering vehicles of the Panther family abroad, mainly to German as well as Central European and Eastern European markets,” Ivo Gurňák adds.