ČD announces first tender for battery-operated trains

Škoda battery electric multiple unit, visualization. Credit: Škoda TransportationŠkoda battery electric multiple unit, visualization. Credit: Škoda Transportation

The units should be able to operate emission-free with no overhead lines at a speed of 120 km/h.

České dráhy has announced its first ever tender for multi-system electric units. The transport company is looking to acquire up to fifteen BEMU 140 units with an estimated price of EUR 141 million. The battery electric multiple units should run mainly in the Moravian-Silesian Region.

A multi-system unit combines running under overhead lines and on battery power; this is why it is known as a battery train. The battery electric multiple unit, or dual-mode electric unit, as it is correctly named, České dráhy is interested in must be powered by a 3kV DC/25kV AC traction system, and the battery must have a usable capacity of at least 400 kWh. The unit must be able to travel at 160 km/h under overhead lines, and 120 km/h outside electrified lines. The full-service contract will include repairs and maintenance of the units.

The tender follows earlier preliminary market consultation. České dráhy will sign a framework contract, which allows not to take delivery of all units. As previously stated, České dráhy is preparing another tender for 27 AC-only BEMUs in addition to the fifteen for the Moravian-Silesian region. The region wants a total of nineteen units.

The BEMUs are relatively new; they are mainly used for direct trains which run mostly on electrified lines. This allows direct connections to be made without the need to change trains or to run a diesel train under the overhead lines.


Edited and translated by Lucie Trávníčková

Tagy BEMU BEMU 140 České dráhy
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