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ČD Cargo, a.s., has launched a project to equip traction vehicles with the European Train Control Systém (ETCS). For this project, ČD Cargo submitted an aid application under the 2015 CEF Transport Cohesion Call, on 14 February 2016. The request for a project called "Deployment of ERTMS / ETCS on-board components compliant with ETCS Baseline 3 in ČD CARGO, as on the Rail Freight / Core Network Corridors" was successfully adopted and on 17 October 2016 a grant agreement was concluded between the Innovation and Network Executive Agency (INEA) and ČD Cargo.
The total aid amounts to a maximum of 85% of eligible costs, with eligible costs limited to the amount of 250 000 EUR for equipping one traction vehicle. Currently, ČD Cargo expects to use funds allocated under the grant agreement to equip 318 vehicles (including 9 prototypes). These 318 vehicles are then divided into more separate public contracts.
ČD Cargo has already signed two contracts for the equipment of traction rail vehicles. It is the 742 series after the modernization and now also the 163 and 363 series. Altogether there are 128 traction vehicles (including 3 prototypes). The complete delivery and installation of the on-board part of ETCS is co-funded by the European Union Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), so the deadline for completing the physical implementation of the project is the end of 2022. With regard to the 742 locomotive, the contractor is working intensively on prototype modernization of the vehicle, while ETCS delivery and installation for the 163 and 363 series is being started by the preparation of a prototype installation of the European security system. The first was the implementation of the 163 series, and because there is not much time, immediately after signing the contract negotiations were held on the installation of the device at the first prototype locomotive. The first locomotive of ČD Cargo, which will be equipped with the on-board part of ETCS within the above mentioned project, is the locomotive 163.022. The handover of the locomotive took place on 19 March 2019 in Hranice na Moravě in the afternoon and preparatory work began on the morning of the next day, so that the time for the timely completion of the project was effectively used from the beginning of the contract.
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