All seven Pendolino trains belonging to České dráhy (Czech Railways, ČD), which have been in regular operation for 12 years now, will undergo major refurbishment in the coming months. In particular, their interiors will be updated. The contract to redesign the seven-carriage class 680 electric multiple units with a tilting mechanism was awarded, in accordance with the law on public procurement, to ČD’s subsidiary DPOV, a.s. (Dílny pro opravu vozidel).
“The interiors of the passenger compartments, WCs and bistro in particular are showing signs of age,” explained ČD’s Board Member for Engineering, Service and Property, Miroslav Kupec. “For example, there is no visual information system for passengers, which is standard in today’s modern trains. That’s why it will be added to the Pendolinos, as will a children’s cinema. There will be new seats, wall coverings, floors, luggage racks and WCs. Lighting and electrical outlets will be updated as well.”
After consulting with leading Czech rail vehicle designers Jiří Španihel and Patrik Kotas, the Czech Republic’s national carrier decided to implement a comprehensive modernisation of the Pendolino interiors. “The Pendolinos are our flagship, and a radical intervention is required in order to maintain their uniqueness and exceptionality. Moreover, updates to selected elements will yield significant savings. For example, the units will consume less electricity, which will save us as much as 12 million Czech crowns annually. And thanks to their reduced weight, we’ll also pay a lower fee for the use of railway infrastructure and thus garner savings on the order of hundreds of thousands Czech crowns per year,” added ČD’s Board Member for Passenger Transport, Michal Štěpán.
“The first unit should begin the refurbishment process this summer, and if all goes well we’ll present its new interior in Bohumín this fall on the occasion of National Railway Day. All of the Pendolino trains should be fully renovated within roughly one year,” concludes Miroslav Kupec.
Class 680 Pendolino units are deployed as the Czech Republic’s fastest trains and today operate on the Prague – Ostrava, Ostrava – Prague – Cheb/Františkovy Lázně and Prague – Ostrava – Košice (SK) lines. On board, passengers enjoy a WiFi internet connection and an information and entertainment portal.