posted on 28th Aug 2022 18:42
On 28 August 2022, Jihomoravský kraj (JMK, the South Moravian Region) presented to the public the first of a total of 37 new EMUs purchased from Škoda. They are divided into 31 four-car Class 530 units and six two-car Class 550 units. Collectively, they have been named Moravia and their production started two years ago.
The financial volume of the entire project amounts to 6.651 billion CZK (around 266 million EUR) and the region will draw a subsidy of 5.5 billion CZK from the EU’s Operational Programme Transport, which means approximately 85 %.
The approval process is currently underway at the Czech railway authority Drážní úřad and it is expected that a test passenger service will start during this autumn. The new trains will run mainly on the backbone lines S2 Křenovice horní nádraží - Brno - Blansko - Letovice and S3 Níhov - Tišnov - Brno hl. n. - Šakvice - Hustopeče u Brna, respectively Tišnov - Brno hl. n. - Židlochovice. For the time being, the Moravias will be operated by ČD, from December 2024 the fleet is to be operated by an operator resulting from a JMK tender.
Jan Grolich, JMK Governor, said: „We are the first region in the Czech Republic to buy its own trains. We will thus replace old trains, which are often over 50 years old, which will bring incomparably higher comfort for passengers. Since it is a tradition that trains are named something, we decided to use names that clearly belong to South Moravia, namely for grape varieties, for example, Chardonnay or Merlot."