Czech Railways (ČD), the Czech railway operator, has awarded a €115m (US$134.4mn) contract to a consortium made up of Škoda and Siemens.
The deal will see the joint venture develop 50 Viaggio Comfort passenger cars to the Czech Republic’s main railway operator.
Siemens will be responsible for the design, manufacturing, and delivery stages of the passenger cars.
Škoda will execute the vehicles’ electrics and mechanics at the assembly line, whilst working on static commissioning procedures.
It is anticipated that the two firms will deliver the first vehicles to ČD in 32 weeks’ time.
“The new concept combines the comfort and equipment of high-speed trains with the advantages offered by locomotive-hauled trains,” said Pavel Krtek, CEO of Czech Railways.
“This will enable us to further strengthen our competitiveness in mainline transport, not only within the Czech Republic but also in Central Europe.”
With the new passenger cars, ČD aims to enhance its mainline services through expansion and flexibility.
According to Siemens, the cars can be used as five-unit trains, with each end featuring a standard UIC coupling allowing the vehicles to be adaptable to other cars.
When formed as a functioning train, the locomotive will stretch for 330m and will feature 330 seats, travelling at speeds of up to 200km/h.