škoda 2024

Chinese EMUs in Romania and Serbia

posted on 23rd May 2024 20:23

During April two CRRC-built EMUs units arrived in Southeastern Europe for two operators in quick succession. One of them is the private Romanian company Astra Trans Carpatic (in which ASTRA Vagoane Călători is a half-owner). On 23 April 2024, the three-car unit SFEMU EU01, manufactured by CRRC Sifang, was transported from the port of Constanta to Bucharest.

CRRC, in a joint bidding consortium with ASTRA Vagoane Călători, took part in two tenders launched by the Romanian ARF (Autoritatea pentru Reformă Feroviară - Railway Reform Authority) for three-car RE-R units and for six-car RE-IR1 units. Both tenders were subject to delays, appeals and other obstructions, and were eventually won by PESA (40 RE-R units ordered) and Alstom (20 RE-IR1 units ordered, with an option for 17 more later confirmed). The unit now delivered is apparently of a regional transport design, which should make it more in line with the tender for the RE-R units. As CRRC itself announced at the beginning of May 2021, it had then obtained an Intermediate Statement of Verification (ISV) for TSI certification for this type.

Also at the end of April 2024, the first of CRRC's EMUs for Srbija Voz was delivered to Serbia via the port of Koper. The units, with a top speed of 200 km/h, are intended for operation on the route between Serbia and Hungary, where the construction of a new line is now being completed on Serbian territory. Details on the size of the order vary, but an official report on CRRC's website states that the company signed a contract for 20 four-car units with the Serbian Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure in October 2023.

Now some media are talking about the delivery of five units, however according to available information, 19 units would be needed for the planned operational concept between Belgrade and Budapest. Srbija Voz itself has never officially announced the contract or the delivery of the first unit, and upon our direct enquiry its spokeswoman only stated that "the newly acquired trains are not yet presented to the domestic audience, awaiting their coming certification (some of them are in the process already), so we are not able to give more information at the moment".

On 8 May 2024, the Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Goran Vesic, signed a Protocol of Understanding and Cooperation with CRRC Changchun, on the basis of which nine EMUs will be purchased for the future newly built line of the Belgrade suburban transport BG Voz, which will run from the existing Zemun Polje station to Belgrade Airport "Nikola Tesla" and further to the large newly built area near the village of Surčin, where the National Stadium will be built (construction of which started on 1 May 2024) and a complex for the international exhibition Expo 2027 and other development projects. These units should be delivered by 31 December 2026 at the latest.

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