CZ LOKO invested almost 100 million CZK in the construction of a new modern plant in Česká Třebová specialised in the repair and production of wheelsets.
This will enable the company, which is Europe's largest manufacturer of shunting and universal diesel-electric locomotives, to streamline, speed up and improve the quality of its services, potentially doubling production to 80 wheelsets per month. About 60 percent of these will be used by CZ LOKO for its own production and the rest will be offered as spare capacity for further orders.
“We needed to innovate the long-time bottleneck in the Česká Třebová plant to move it technically and technologically into the third millennium. The priority was, therefore, to automate the operation as much as possible in order to substantially improve the quality, efficiency and logistics of the entire operation,” said Jaroslav Plhák, Chief Operating Officer of CZ LOKO.
This was the last major project in the medium-term investment plan adopted in 2017. It included, among other things, the construction of a new assembly hall for the production of locomotives in Jihlava, also including a new locomotive testing facility. The Česká Třebová facility consists of a new workshop for the production and testing of bogies, a new engine plant or a shop for the modernisation of main frames.
Investments worth hundreds of millions of euros have significantly strengthened the self-sufficiency of CZ LOKO and increased labour productivity and thus competitiveness in the demanding railway market.
“In the production and repair of wheelsets, we now also rank among the most modern European plants. However, if we want to remain number one in our segment in Europe, where we have made inroads thanks to our hard work in recent years, we must continue to invest in improving our products and working environment,” added the COO.
The new wheelset workshop was created by rebuilding the hall originally used for the discontinued repairs of ČKD engines. Construction began in November 2021 when the COVID-19 pandemic was still receding. Last July, installation of the main mechanical equipment began, followed by several months of test operation in the autumn. This has now ended and has been switched to normal operation.