Pendolino trains getting new interiors

The fast trains will have USB ports, more sockets and comfortable seats

The Pendolino trains should get a new appearance after 12 years of being in service. Train operator České dráhy (ČD) said all seven unit of the tilting trains should get new interiors by the middle of next year.

The interiors of the passenger compartments, toilets and dining section all show signs of wear and tear.

Improvements will include new comfortable seats, more 230 volt electric sockets, USB connectors, amplified GSM signal for mobile devices and children's cinema. A visual information system, which is standard on most new trains, will be installed. Wall paneling, flooring, luggage racks and lighting will also be upgraded.

The trains will also weigh less and use Kč 12 million less in electricity every year. The lower weight will also mean that ČD will pay hundreds of thousands of crowns less each year to use railway infrastructure.

ČD considered changing just the worn parts of the interior but the train operator consulted with transportation designer specialists Jiří Španihel and Patrik Kotas, and eventually decided on a whole new interior design. The new interior was designed by Jiří Španihel's firm Descent.

Michal Štěpán, the ČD board member for passenger transport, told daily the media that the Pendolino is České dráhy's flagship, and the company needs to take radical action to maintain its uniqueness and individuality.

If everything goes according to schedule, the new interior design could be presented in the fall in Bohumín during the national Rail Day celebration. The trains should be ready in the summer of 2018.

Pendolino trains are tilting trains that can go faster than standard trains on normal tracks. The Czech Republic has had Pendolino trains since 2005. They can reach speeds up 237 km per hour, but in practice travel at 160 kn per hour.

The trains have been approved for use in Slovakia and briefly had a route to Austria, but never were approved to go to Germany. Currently there are SuperCity routes using the Pendolino from Františkovy Lázně to Plzeň, Prague, Olomouc, Ostrava, Poprad and ending in Košice, with some other stops. Seat reservations are required.

The trains cost some Kč 4.4 billion and were delivered late from their manufacturer in Italy. They also got off to a slow start, facing initial software and other technical problems.

One of the Pendolino trains crashed in July 2015 at Studénka in the Moravian-Silesian region, when a truck driver crossed the tracks as the train approached. The train is currently undergoing repairs in Italy.

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