škoda 2024

Sirius in test passenger service

posted on 8th Feb 2024 11:46

At the beginning of this year, the plan mentioned last summer that the Class 665 would begin trial operation, not under the umbrella of Leo Express but RegioJet, became a reality. These six-car EMUs were ordered by Leo Express from CRRC in 2016, but the operator eventually cancelled the contract in 2022. The test operation of Sirius is therefore ordered by the manufacturer and is running on the basis of the DÚ's (Drážní úřad, the Czech Rail Authority) authorisation of 13 November 2023 and concerns unit 665.002.

After the initial part of the test operation without passengers between Přerov and Otrokovice took place from 3 January 2024, subsequently a test operation with passengers was started on 5 February on the R23 Kolín - Ústí nad Labem line, where the public service operation is ordered by the Ministry of Transport. These trains are marked in the RegioJet timetable as an exception on the route "The service is operated by a modern electric unit of the Class 665 in black". This deployment allowed the public to see inside the vehicle for the first time.

Opinions on the evaluation of the interior vary, of course, but probably the most impressive were the seats in the form of "perches" in a "sardine" arrangement. However, in evaluating them, it is necessary to say the basic information that this reclining seating was not intended as a place for a long journey, let alone between termini (although there would probably be some such adventurers), but as a LE's back-up for those occasions, when stewards at the train before departure are asked at the last minute by interested passengers if there is a seat available, that they "can just lean back somewhere", but mainly it was intended to improve train utilisation in cases where there are overlapping requests for transport in the same direction in the booking system.

For example, if a normal seat is occupied in the Praha - Olomouc section, but for a person interested in transport from Zábřeh na Moravě to Ostrava, there is no space available, although the seat is then "carried" empty from Olomouc towards Ostrava. In this situation, those interested could take the shorter section from Zábřeh to Olomouc less comfortably (but still go), but then on a standard seat from Olomouc. It is only a matter of discussion how many such "perches" should be on the train and in what density, but as a courtesy to passengers this can certainly be appreciated.

It will now be interesting to see what the operational results and reliability of this train will be during the planned three to four months of trial operation at RegioJet.

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