Trains modernised in Ostrava to go to Salzburg

Ostrava, 22 August 2012 – A consortium comprised of the companies INEKON GROUP and Cegelec has acquired a contract worth CZK 200 million (EUR 8 million) to modernise nine suburban train units for Salzburg, Austria. The Ostrava company EKOVA ELECTRIC is participating in the project, providing all the installation work.

The contract includes the design and manufacture of a completely new low-floor segment, which will be placed in the middle of the unit between the two original segments. It is a tailor-made structure, designed according to the specific requirements of the Austrian client, Salzburger Lokalbahnen.

We have created a carriage which does not exist anywhere else in the world. We will only be manufacturing ten of them, which is a relatively unique project in this age of mass production. Furthermore, the new central segment of the units will meet all the requirements to carry both physically and visually impaired passengers,” explained Josef Hušek, the Chairman of the Board and General Director of INEKON GROUP. “We have four train units to finish this year. The whole contract should be ready by the end of 2013,” he added.

The contract was won after the excellent experience Salzburger Lokalbahnen acquired working with Czech companies. Cegelec, for example, has modernised 37 trolley buses with new static converters since 2006. This client has also had 21 SOLARIS Trollino trolley buses assembled in the workshops of the Ostrava Transport Company (now operated by EKOVA ELECTRIC) with the contracts handled by Cegelec. These contracts are continuing successfully. “Both Czech industry and the skill of its workers have an excellent reputation in Austria. The Inekon designers have been able to meet our requirements. We believe that the passengers will appreciate the higher level of comfort the new trains offer,” said Mattis Schindler, a representative of the Salzburger Lokalbahnen management.

The first prototype of the train unit is currently undergoing final testing in Salzburg itself. It should be put into regular operation during September. Unlike the INEKON GROUP trams for Washington, DC and Seattle, the performance and brake testing of the trains will not be done in Ostrava, due to the smaller radius of local tracks.

Upon the successful completion of the final tests in Austria, all further work on the remaining eight units will be based on the specific documentation from the first prototype. The manufacture of each central segment will include around two months’ work on the shell structure and a month on the final assembly of the interior.

Five out of the nine train units will also undergo modernisation of part of their interiors in addition to the insertion of the central segment. This work will include, for instance, the replacement of the flooring and seating. “During operations, the train units will also enter a tunnel under the main station in Salzburg, so all the new furnishings will be made of inflammable material in order to meet the EU’s increased demands for safety,” explained Radoslav Hanzelka, the Chairman of the Board and Director of EKOVA ELECTRIC, adding, “The second prototype will be leaving our workshop at the end of October.

The electrical work will also include the installation of static converters, which are being supplied by Cegelec. “We appreciate that representatives of Salzburger Lokalbahnen came to us with this contract. It tells us that they have been satisfied with our work so far and the way the Austrians are acting towards us, INEKON GROUP and EKOVA ELECTRIC is a real vote of confidence,” concluded Zdeněk Vytouš, Commercial Director at Cegelec.