RegioPanter with batteries made its premiere in Ostrava


Author: Mankirat Kaur

The first Czech single-deck electric unit RegioPanter equipped with traction batteries was presented at the Rail Business Days trade fair.

This occurred during a press conference in Ostrava's Trojhalí Karolina, in the presence of Martin Kupka, Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic, representatives of Czech Railways, the Moravian-Silesian Region, and Škoda Group.

The new train, which can travel 80 km in battery mode, will be the first in the Czech Republic to be tested by passengers in the Moravian-Silesian Region. This marks a major milestone in regional rail transport, offering a greener and more efficient alternative even on non-electrified tracks.

Battery-powered trains are the cleanest solution to replace traditional diesel vehicles. Škoda has been developing its own for several years. The popular RegioPanter has been fitted with three battery packs on its roof. The batteries are continuously recharged by driving under traction or by recovering energy during braking. The single-deck unit fitted with batteries can travel 80 km at a top speed of up to 120 km/h, comfortably covering regional non-electrified lines.

“RegioPanters are already improving the quality of travel on our regional lines, but their development is ongoing, and I am delighted that we have introduced a new unit complete with traction batteries. These trains will be deployed for the first time ever on the line Ostrava - Studénka - Veřovice and will allow people to travel without changing trains in Studénka, arriving by electric unit even on a non-fully electrified line. This is a way to greater passenger comfort and transport with less environmental impact,” says Martin Kupka, Minister of Transport.

“Railway is the most environmentally friendly form of transport and the RegioPanters, equipped with batteries, take it one step further. Czech Railways will be the first carrier in the Czech Republic to put four trains with battery cells into service this December. They will be followed by the delivery of fifteen fully battery-powered trains. The advantage of these units is that they can be deployed on lines that are only partially electrified. Thanks to this, passengers will not have to change between electric and diesel trains,” says Jiří Ješeta, member of the Board of Directors and Deputy CEO of Czech Railways for Passenger Transport.

“I appreciate that modern battery trains will start running on our rails for the first time in our region. Unfortunately, the Moravian-Silesian region is still one of the areas with the worst air quality. Clean mobility is one way to improve our environment. I believe that the trains will prove their worth and that there will be more of them on our railway. The Moravian-Silesian Region will support the electrification of lines and the use of battery trains within its capabilities. This is not only because of the ecological impacts but also because of the efficiency of transport and the comfort of our passengers,” said Josef Bělica, the Governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region.

“Electric units equipped with batteries offer comfort to passengers by eliminating the need to change trains where part of the railway network is electrified and part is not. They are an ecological substitute for diesel trains. They help to improve air quality and thus meet the climate targets set by society. We have always been committed to the development of emission-free solutions at Škoda, and this area remains a priority for us,” says Petr Novotný, CEO Škoda Group.

The single-deck RegioPanter unit equipped with batteries has everything passengers are used to from classic trains produced by Škoda. It offers low-floor and barrier-free entrances and interior, ergonomic seats and a clear information system. Passengers will also be able to use a spacious toilet designed for people with reduced mobility. The unit is also equipped with a state-of-the-art CCTV system, ETCS signalling system and ATO automatic train operation system.

The advantage of the battery electric unit is the possibility of deployment on lines that combine electrified and non-electrified sections. This will significantly increase convenience as passengers will no longer have to change between electric and diesel trainsets. New direct connections will be created in the region, e.g., from Ostrava to Veřovice, from Krnov to Český Těšín, or from Ostrava to Nový Jičín.