First tests of ComfortJet for European routes have started

First tests of ComfortJet for European routes have started
© ČD

The first shortened ComfortJet train, consisting of six wagons, has arrived at the test track of the Railway Test Centre in Velim, Czech Republic.

This marks the beginning of extensive testing and approval of the ComfortJet units, at the end of which their supplier, the Siemens Mobility - Škoda Group consortium, must obtain approval for regular operation on lines in this country and abroad. The ComfortJet units will be used on international routes from Prague to Hamburg, Graz, Budapest and other destinations. They will enter service gradually between 2024 and 2026.

ČD has ordered a total of 20 nine-car ComfortJet units from the Siemens Mobility - Škoda Group consortium. These are based on the successful Siemens Viaggio Comfort platform. They are push-pull trains with a control car on one side and a Siemens Vectron locomotive on the opposite side. This makes it easier to turn the trainset around at destination stations, as there is no need to change locomotives.

"The start of testing of the new ComfortJet on the test track near Velim is another important step for the ComfortJet project, without which it will not be possible to put the completely new train into service. It is now up to our suppliers and their partners to complete the tests on time and to the required quality, and to have the units approved in time for regular service. We would like to put the first of them into service as early as 2024, albeit without the control and restoration car," says Michal Krapinec, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of ČD.

"We expect the first unit to be commissioned in the first quarter of next year. The exact date will depend on Siemens and Škoda, who will have to test the trains and get them approved by the railway authorities. We would like to start the trial operation on the Prague-Ostrava line and then extend it to Berlin trains between Prague and Berlin. In the next phase of production and testing, the trains will be equipped with restoration and control cars, and by 2026 we want to start full-scale operation in push-pull mode with Siemens Vectron locomotives not only to Germany, but also to Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, and we want to succeed in using them on trains to Denmark as well," says Jiří Ješeta, member of the Board of Directors and Deputy Director General of ČD for Passenger Transport.

ComfortJets are designed for speeds of up to 230 km/h. This top speed will be used, for example, on the Berlin-Hamburg route or on other new lines such as the Koralmbahn in Austria or the future high-speed lines in the Czech Republic.

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