Unipetrol Doprava invests tens of millions in safety. Its diesel locos will be equipped with ETCS.
Unipetrol Doprava, a part of the ORLEN Group, will be the first carrier in the Czech Republic to equip its diesel locomotives with state-of-the-art European train control system, ETCS. The first of eight locos of the 753.7 range (“spectacled cobra”) will get the European train control system this year and the entire fleet will be equipped by 2022. The contract worth tens of millions of korunas is co-financed from the Operational Programme Transport and it will be implemented by Czech company CZ LOKO.
“The investment in the European Train Control System not only strongly boosts safety but also competitiveness. The new system will help us substantially facilitate international transport because our locomotives will be able to move within the trans-European transport network, TEN-T, which will go across the Czech Republic and whose technical parameters require the use of ETCS as part of ERTMS,” says Jaroslav Dvořák, Executive Director of Unipetrol Doprava, adding: “Following a massive investment in the purchase of electric (Vectron) and diesel (Bizon) locomotives in recent years, we will continue to modernise the fleet together with our parent company, PKN ORLEN, and ORLEN KolTrans. We want to gradually replace older diesel and electric locomotives.”
Only the most modern locomotives are currently fitted with the European Train Control System in the Czech Republic. But the Rail Infrastructure Administration has announced that effective from 2025, it will not allow non-ETCS trains on the tracks. Unipetrol Doprava has 29 locomotives which are involved both in national and international transport. Of this number, only Siemens Vectron locos are currently equipped with ETCS.
“For us, this contract is the first project for additional installation of the mobile part of ETCS in the legacy CZ LOKO locomotives. Although this represents a major intervention in the vehicle, we plan that we will have the locomotive on our site only for a couple of days considering the serial implementation of the contract,” says Jan Kutálek, Sales Director and a member of the Board of Directors of CZ LOKO, a.s.
ETCS is the European Train Control System. It is part of the European Rail Transport Management System (ERTMS) and is expected to gradually replace 20 different national signalling and train control systems. This will enable to control trains throughout entire Europe without the need to change tractive units on the borders or to equip them with different national systems. It is expected to be deployed especially on high-speed lines and transit corridors and it should replace all national systems in the future.
Unipetrol Doprava belongs to the ORLEN Group. It offers a wide portfolio of services in the railway market. In addition to transporting chemical products, it also focuses on forwarding, railway car hire, repair and cleaning services, and consulting. It is currently one of the main railway carriers in the Czech Republic.
The Unipetrol Group is the largest refinery and petrochemical company in the Czech Republic. It focuses on crude-oil processing and on the production, distribution and sale of vehicle fuels and petrochemical products – particularly plastics and fertilisers. In all these areas, it belongs among the important players on the Czech and Central European market. The Unipetrol Group encompasses refineries and production plants in Litvínov and Kralupy nad Vltavou, Paramo with its Mogul brand in Pardubice and Kolín, Spolana Neratovice, and two research centres in Litvínov and Brno. Unipetrol also includes a network of Benzina filling stations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. With 416 filling stations, Benzina is the largest chain in the Czech Republic. Unipetrol is one of the largest companies in terms of turnover in the Czech Republic. It earned CZK 129 billion last year and employs more than 4,800 persons. In addition to its business development, Unipetrol is proud to be a socially responsible corporation. Therefore, it pays an equal amount of attention to initiatives which focus on the cultivation and support of sustainable development, education, local communities, and the environment. In 2005, Unipetrol became a member of the PKN ORLEN Group, the largest crude-oil processor in Central Europe.
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