Media News Emil Zátopek is Back on the Tracks

Emil Zátopek is Back on the Tracks

2013 / 06 / 23

The new locomotive 109E from Czech manufacturer Škoda Transportation was ceremonially named today at the Prague Central Railway Station. Due to its high speed and efficiency, it was named after the most famous Czech runner of all time - Emil Zátopek. The locomotive also received type approval for operation in the Czech Republic from the Rail Authority (Drážní úřad). Dana Zátopková accepted the role of the godmother of the state-of-the-art Czech locomotive.

Emil Zátopek is one of the most important Czech sportsmen. More than sixty years ago he succeeded in winning Olympic medals in three long-distance running events (5 km, 10 km and marathon). This outstanding performance remains unsurpassed. ‘It is a great honour for us to be able to name our new locomotive after this Czech and international sporting legend. Emil Zátopek was frequently nicknamed “the Czech locomotive”, and we truly believe that our locomotive will spread international awareness of the Czech Republic just as he did,’ says Josef Bernard, the general manager of the Škoda Transportation company.

The locomotive Emil Zátopek is the latest three-system, high-speed machine intended for operation at speeds of up to 200 kilometres per hour. It is one of the most efficient locomotives in the world in the four-axle locomotive class. Maximum output is approximately 7,200 kW if electrical networks permit.  Other qualities of the locomotive include reliability, low energy consumption and friendliness to the environment. The locomotive meets the latest requirements and regulations of the European Union - especially operational safety.

‘Not long after our locomotive received – as only the second in the world – the TSI High Speed RST certificate, it was also granted the type approval from the Czech Rail Authority which followed thorough testing of these machines in trial operations by Czech Railways. Emil Zátopek is, therefore, one of the first machines which meet the latest requirements and regulations of the European Union -, especially regarding operational safety. At the same time, the locomotive is able to operate smoothly across regions with different electrification systems,’ adds Josef Bernard

The locomotive is intended for operation on the tracks of railway corridors in all neighbouring countries of the CzechRepublic and in Hungary. The technological design of the locomotive meets specific requirements of tracks and electrification systems with alternating voltages of 25 kV/50 Hz or 15 kV/16.7 Hz and also with direct-current voltages of 3 kV. ‘We expect full approval of the locomotive in Austria and Poland by autumn 2013. Approval in Germany is expected by the end of this year,’ adds Josef Bernard.

The complete development and manufacture of the new locomotive took place at the Škoda Transportation company in Plzeň. Škoda has invested almost one billion Czech crowns into development. The complexity of the manufacturing process is demonstrated by the fact that the locomotive has more than ten thousand electrical joints and connections and is traversed by approximately thirty kilometres of cables. Škoda Transportation used state-of-the-art materials – e.g. fibre composites similar to those used in Formula 1 cars in its manufacture.

Czech Railways have up to now ordered twenty of these locomotives and several locomotives have also been ordered by Slovak Railways. ‘Even abroad there is interest in our locomotive and the penetration of western European markets seems promising. Deliveries of about 40 locomotives for three different customers are being negotiated,’says Josef Bernard. The locomotive Emil Zátopek continues a long tradition of manufacturing of electrical locomotives of which more than 5,500 have  already been supplied by the Škoda company in Plzeň


Further information:

Lubomíra Černá                                                 
Škoda Transportation                                                                       
737 281 550                                                                                        


Škoda Transportation

Škoda Transportation is one of the leading European companies in the field of transport engineering. Its primary products include low-floor trams, electric locomotives, suburban train units, underground sets, trolley buses, traction motors and complete drives for transportation systems. Sales of the group amount to approximately 15 billion Czech crowns annually, and the group has employed approximately four thousand people for several years. Škoda Transportation has several subsidiary companies and joint ventures not only in the Czech Republic but also in China, Poland and Hungary. It is only thanks to its high investment in research and development that Škoda Transportation can regularly introduce new and modern products to the market. These products have also been successful abroad. Škoda Transportation has invested over 3 billion Czech crowns into research and development over the last three years. 

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