The Czech government has agreed to invest CKr8bn ($454.5m) every year over the next seven years in the Czech Railways (CD) network to replace or renovate train locomotives and passenger cars that are more than 40 years old.

The programme aims at bringing down the average age of its trains from 30 to 15 years by 2015.

The move will see nearly half of the railway’s fleet of 4,000 locomotives, which cater to nearly 180 million passengers, be destroyed or renovated.

CD is planning to raise CKr10bn through bank loans to finance the programme. Another CKr4bn is expected to come from the EU.

CD will also invite bids in the second quarter of 2010 to build new trains.