After refurbishment, the VT 18.16 unit will be offered as a commercial product for adventure rides.
Czech Railways and the German company SVT Görlitz agreed that CD will be the carrier of the legendary DR class VT 18.16 unit on Czech territory. SVT Görlitz is working on the commissioning of a motor train, due to start running next year. The cooperation also involves sharing experiences in the refurbishment and operation of historic vehicles.
The unit ran on the Vindobona (Berlin–Prague–Tabor–Vienna) in the 1970s, and until the early 1980s it also appeared on the Karlex (Berlin–Vojtanov–Karlovy Vary) and the Karol (Leipzig–Vojtanov–Karlovy Vary). In Czechoslovakia, it became a symbol of elegant long-distance expresses, its charm was given by its journeys behind the Iron Curtain.
“These lines will be offered for tourist and charter services after the German SVT unit is repaired in 2023. Both parties will cooperate on the implementation of tourist offers,” said Czech Railways spokesman Petr Stahlavsky.
SVT Görlitz has long been involved in the restoration of the unit, which was built in 1963 at the VEB Waggonbau Görlitz plant. The work received a major boost in 2020, when the German government approved a subsidy of over EUR 4 million for repairs.
Edited and translated by Lucie Trávníčková.