The European Investment Bank has signed a €130m loan with Czech railway transport provider CD Cargo to fund the acquisition of new electric locomotive, replacing the obsolete rolling stock.
A subsidiary company of České dráhy, CD Cargo is the national passenger rail transporter fully owned by the Czech Republic.
The new EIB loan will help CD Cargo in developing its intermodal transport plan, which will respond to the growing market and comply with the European interoperability requirements.
This project involved the acquisition of 50 electric locomotives and 140 freight intermodal wagons.
Furthermore, retrofitting of around 310 older locomotives with the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS) will also be executed.
EIB vice-president Lilyana Pavlova said: “Our partnership with CD Cargo will improve the capacity, safety and quality of freight services in the Czech Republic, notably through the use of a modern control and signalling system.
“By promoting a shift from road to rail transport, this project will have a positive impact on the environment and will thus contribute to supporting the transition of the Czech Republic to a low-carbon economy, in line with the objectives of our recently approved EIB Climate Bank Roadmap and of the Transport Policy of the Czech Republic.”
CD Cargo board of directors chairman Tomáš Tóth said: “We are delighted to sign our first-ever agreement with the EIB. It comes after an extensive process that allowed the EU bank to better know our company and positively assess its potential for growth. The long-term lending approach and the distinctive, favourable terms of the EIB loan will allow ČD Cargo to invest in its future with a sustainable growth perspective.”
EIB said that a grant component from the CEF Transport Blending Facility can provide investment funds for ERTMS.
The CEF Transport Blending Facility is implemented via a collaboration framework between the European Commission and executing partners such as the EIB.
The assets obtained within this project will be partially used in Convergence Regions in the Czech Republic and mostly on the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).