Arriva Group has signed a contract to start rail operations in the Pilsen region of Czech Republic, growing its footprint and securing its position as the second largest private rail operator in the country.
The contract is awarded following a competitive bidding process which sees Arriva entering the electric rail market for the first time in the Czech Republic. The contract signing took place at the headquarters of the Regional Authority for the Pilsen Region.
Arriva’s train fleet will expand from December 10 as a result of the new contract, with nine electric trains serving the Horažďovice, Plzeň to Pňovany route. The trains are two-car Skoda Regio Panters 650 series and are equipped with air conditioning, internet access and charging facilities.
Sian Leydon, Managing Director of Mainland Europe for Arriva Group, commented: “I’m delighted that Arriva has been successful in winning this contract. We have demonstrated long-standing success in rail operations in Czech Republic and this win represents a growth story for Arriva and positions us for future growth in electric rail in this market. We have a strong history of providing sustainable transport solutions to passenger transport authorities across Europe, and entering a new region will further build on this.“
Following the signing of the contract, the preparatory work for taking over the operation of the line from the incumbent has already begun and Arriva plans to recruit 40 new drivers and conductors, plus a number of other roles in the coming months to ensure it is ready to take over later this year.