Škoda Group to overhaul ÖBB Nightjet coaches
The Škoda Group has bagged a contract for the overhaul and modernisation of couchette coaches for the ÖBB Nightjet fleet, the Czech manufacturer said on Tuesday. The contract calls for work on 6 comfort couchette coaches and includes an option for the modernisation of another 28 units.
ÖBB is investing 4.1 billion euros in new rolling stock, which includes new Nightjets. The first new Nightjet, built by Siemens Mobility, is expected to enter service in the summer of 2023. Travellers on routes from Austria and Germany to Italy will be the first to experience the new Nightjets. All 25 new train sets will hit the tracks in 2025.
The operator is upgrading its existing fleet of Nightjets in tandem, and the first delivery of an upgraded couchette by the Škoda Group is scheduled for 2024. Škoda will fit new beds, improved lightning, better bathrooms and overhauled compartments. The work will be carried out at Škoda’s Šumperk site in the Czech Republic. In the summer of 2022, ÖBB and Deutsche Bahn unveiled their upgraded Nightjet couchette car in Hamburg. The coach was part of an upgrade programme that has already resulted in the conversion of 22 Nightjet couchette cars.
The value of Škoda Group’s contract with ÖBB has not been communicated. The contract marks yet another foray into the night train rolling stock market, as it follows a December 2022 agreement of Škoda with Finnish rail operator VR Group for nine sleeper coaches, eight car-carrier coaches as well as spare parts, special tools, training and documentation. The total value of this procurement is approximately 50 million euros. The deal also includes options to purchase 30 more sleeper coaches and 30 additional car-carrier coaches.
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