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In connection with the untrue campaign conducted towards ČD Cargo by companies of the Rail Invest group (OOS, TSS, Financial Found, etc.), the ČD Cargo management makes the following statement:
ČD Cargo is currently involved in several legal disputes with companies from the Rail Invest group, the subject of which is a flagrant breach of contractual relations by individual companies of this group amounting to hundreds of millions of crowns. In a competitive struggle and in an effort to purposefully defame the management of ČD Cargo, a lawyer of Rail Invest is now challenging ČD Cargo's contract with their competing company SMK, at the Rail Authority among others.
In 2018, ČD Cargo entered into a contractual relationship with the company SMK, the subject of which is to provide comprehensive modernization of 500 wagons of the Ea series. This contract is now subject to misleading accusations by the Rail Invest group, which has illicitly obtained partial business confidential information between ČD Cargo and SMK.
The contract with SMK was being prepared in the first half of 2018, at a time when it was necessary to meet the increased demand for open high-wall wagons, inter alia on the basis of the task of accelerated transport of wood from forests affected by a bark beetle calamity. The contract underwent a standard approval procedure – it was first approved by the Board of Directors of ČD Cargo and then the Supervisory Board of ČD Cargo granted its prior approval to conclude the contract. At that time, SMK was the only company known to us offering the required modernization of freight wagons as it had previously approved documentation for such a comprehensive modernization of the wagons, during which the entire running gear is replaced for another which meets the interoperability requirements. If the contract had not been concluded, the wagons would have faced physical disposal, as the modernization was carried out on morally and physically obsolete unserviceable wagons, which in addition, due to their design constraints could only be operated in the Czech Republic and in the Slovak Republic.
The business case is divided into three inseparable parts:
In essence, it is a modernization of wagons and their ten-year-maintenance (beyond the routine repair) associated with financing. As financing, respectively as the payment of the price for reconstruction and subsequent maintenance, the rental for the period of use of the wagon and the repurchase price in the tenth year can be perceived. Based on the analyses carried out, this solution was found to be the most effective and the fastest possible provision of the necessary wagon capacity.
Although our company is not the entity in charge of maintenance for these wagons at this stage of the contract, it can be stated that the wagons are commonly used, they do not show any defects and due rent is being paid for them under the contract. Beyond the foregoing, it should be noted that identically reconstructed wagons are operated throughout Europe in units of thousands of items.
The contract in question was subject of an audit and was repeatedly reviewed by the company's management, by the management of the entire ČD Group and by the Rail Authority, without any findings or non-compliance with the corporate or railway regulations and a with proven clear economic and time advantage.
Finally, let us add that at the moment, the management of ČD Cargo has no information about any criminal complaint filed in connection with the aforementioned contractual relationship, nor has it been contacted by law enforcement authorities.
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