CZ LOKO completed the modernization of fourteen 742 series locomotives for ČD


Czech Railways has already returned all 14 locomotives of the 742 series, which were given to CZ LOKO for complete modernisation. This happened practically a year earlier, as the contract worth more than CZK 684 million provided for the completion of the last vehicle only in November 2024.

"Accelerating this series of upgrades was practically the only way to keep the project's economics at least partially within realistic limits. At that time, just after the contract was signed, the war in Ukraine started and the supply chains broke down. The prices of virtually all components rose enormously and we were facing a catastrophic scenario. We avoided it. Undoubtedly to the satisfaction of the customer who could use the vehicles earlier," says Jan Kutálek, member of the Board of Directors and Sales Director of CZ LOKO.

In record time, the company managed to manage the change of ETCS supplier after Alstom unexpectedly and uncompromisingly discontinued the EBICAB system used in this series. Therefore, CZ LOKO switched to the new AURIGA system from the Spanish manufacturer CAF.

"We had to do all the integration and testing from scratch and that is not easy. We are currently planning to switch to the Switch-On mode for the series locomotives, where we are also using the Spanish system," said Jan Kutálek. The vehicle is then fully eligible for live commercial operation under ETCS on the domestic rail network.

"The comprehensive upgrade of the 742 series locomotives to the EffiShunter 1000M is part of our Strategy 2030, in which we will renew a significant part of the fleet," says Jiří Ješeta, member of the Board of Directors and Deputy General Director of ČD for Passenger Transport. He appreciates the fact that CZ LOKO managed the order in difficult external conditions at the original price and ahead of schedule. "Unfortunately, among our suppliers, such contract performance is quite rare," he added.

These locomotives will be used by ČD for independent traction operations on corridors equipped with the European Train Control System (ETCS). Under its exclusive supervision, operation on the selected railway network will be ensured from January 2025.

"The modernisation prolongs the service life of the locomotives while substantially increasing the comfort and safety of our employees, simplifying maintenance and reducing emissions," said Jiří Ješeta.

The technologically demanding upgrade of the 742 series to the 743.2 series, for which CZ LOKO uses the trade name EffiShunter 1000M, makes the ČKD locomotives from 1977 to 1988 virtually new first-class machines. They are also equipped with online monitoring and diagnostics and a new generation of traction and auxiliary equipment. Only the chassis and main frame remain original, but even these parts are undergoing a major overhaul and many modifications. The 1000 kW internal combustion engine allows a top speed of 100 km/h.

In the past, CZ LOKO has already succeeded in the same project with ČD Cargo, for which it modernised 50 locomotives of this series between 2018 and 2022, with another 25 to be delivered by the end of 2024. 20 machines are also being modernised for ZS Cargo Slovakia. Other vehicles are owned by the carriers CER, Rail Cargo Carrier or ODOS from Ostrava.

České dráhy

743.2, Dalibor Palko