First Chinese-Made Train Hits Czech Rails: A New Era of Comfort and Efficiency

Michaela Bartošová

For the first time, a train manufactured in China is now operating on Czech rails. The six-car electric unit, named Sirius, operates under the company RegioJet. During its trial operation, passengers can encounter this unique train on the route between Ústí nad Labem and Kolín. One unique feature this Chinese-made train brings to Czech rail transport is the “standing seats,” which passengers can lean against.

RegioJet, a transportation company, operates the black-grey unit that arrives at the central station in Ústí nad Labem just before half past eight. The morning peak has passed, so fewer people are getting on board. The train soon starts moving and heads towards Kolín, passing stations such as Litoměřice, Mělník, and Poděbrady. It will then return from Kolín and repeat the same route in the afternoon. This will continue for three to four months during the trial operation on the R23 express line.

The new unit was manufactured by the world’s largest firm in the field of rail vehicles, China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC). It was the first train from China to operate on Czech railways. “RegioJet manages the test operation, but the unit’s owner is CRRC,” confirms Alexandra Janoušek Kostřicová, PR manager of the Czech carrier.

The unit, which has been in the Czech Republic for several years, was initially purchased by the transporter Leo Express in 2016. However, the order was later canceled. The Chinese supplier wanted to complete the certification, so RegioJet was offered the opportunity for the test operation.

A peculiar feature of the train is its “half-seats” for semi-standing or semi-sitting – a new concept for Czech passengers. These specific places offer only limited space. Passengers stand during the journey and can lean against these “half-seats.” The seats can be adjusted, and a small folding table is available.