Leo Express unveils CRRC-made train
Czech railway operator Leo Express has unveiled the first photos of its Chinese-made train. The vehicle is manufacturing at the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) plant in Zhuzhou. Three CRRC-made trains are scheduled to be delivered to Czechia in the second half of the year. The vehicles will be entered into service in 2020.
The manufacturing process is at the final stage. Afterwards, the trains will be delivered by ship from China to Czechia. The exact date is not defined yet, Leo Express implies only on the second half of the year. The new trains will be tested on the Velim railway test circuit for obtaining the certification. Leo Express can also use an option for additional 27 trains.
Currently, Leo Express operates five five-car Flirt trains. The Chinese units consist of six cars and have more capacity – up to 300 passengers instead of 227 passengers in Flirts. The new vehicles will provide more comfort premium and economy classes. The trains will be equipped with a new kitchen that will allow offering better catering service for passengers. Also, they will have special areas for carrying luggage, skis and bikes. Some of the train parts (pantographs, doors and security systems) will be delivered by Czech companies and installed directly in Czechia.
Leo Express has ordered the Chinese trains at a price of 5 billion Korunas (around 194 million Euros) in 2016. The vehicles will help the company to extend and strengthen its business in the foreign markets. Leo Express operates train routes in Czechia, Slovakia and Poland. The latter is a new market for the company. The Czech rail operator launched the Prague – Krakow weekend train in November 2018. From 28 June the connection will run every day. Also, the company plans to launch a train to Wroclaw.