Czech Railways plans new repair shop

The rail carrier is looking to become Central Europe’s train repair center

Czech Railways (ČD) is planning to upgrade its rolling stock and expand its commercial repair services. The train operator will spend Kč 40 billion in the next 10 years to purchase of new vehicles, upgrade existing ones and make other investments.

Some 50 entirely new passenger rail cars will appear and have the same level of comfort as the railjet trains that like Prague to Vienna and Graz. For regional lines, cars for the electric InterPanter and RegioPanter as well as the diesel operated RegioShark are planned, ČD’s new director, Miroslav Kupec, told daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD)

Kupec also said he intends for ČD to build the largest repair shop in Central Europe. Repairs will become a large part of future plans.

“We want it to be one of our main competitive advantages, not only in relation to the Czech Republic but also for neighboring countries,” he said.

ČD’s current long-term contracts to provide rail service to many regions will end in 2019.

Czech regions are planning on purchasing their own trains for local transportation. The regions will need a facility to service the new trains.

The South Moravia region, which includes Brno, plans to buy 36 electric trains to operate within the region.

Kupec said the potential manufacturers have already been asking questions about the conditions for service and repair at the Brno depot.

Kupec took over the leadership of ČD last week, replacing Pavel Krtek, who had been the director since November 2014. Kupec previously had been a member of the board of directors in charge of technology and vehicles.

Czech Railways (ČD) made a profit of Kč 984 million in 2017, a year-on-year improvement of about Kč 100 million. Freight and passenger transport saw increases and both were profitable, in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

The strong Czech currency also contributed to a reduction in ČD's net debt by Kč 3 billion to Kč 27.2 billion.

Passenger transport saw moderate profits, as passenger numbers and transport performance continued to grow in 2017. Czech Railways’ services were used by almost 175 million people.

ČD Cargo last year saw a net profit of Kč 743 million, slightly lower than in 2016 due to the purchase of new locomotives and freight wagons to increase competitiveness on the European market.

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