Škoda Group signs €320 million contract with Uzbekistan Railways

Posted: 12 October 2023 | | No comments yet

Škoda Group signs €320 million contract with Uzbekistan Railways, promising 30 wide-gauge electric train units.

Skoda Group

Škoda Group announced a contract with Uzbekistan Railways to supply 30 electric trains worth €320 million. This is the largest contract ever awarded to a Czech company in Uzbekistan. Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov attended the signing at Škoda Group’s headquarters, Pilsen, with Uzbek Transport Minister Ilkhom Makhkamov and his Czech counterpart Martin Kupka.

“With these cutting-edge trains, we are on the path to revolutionize our railways and enhance the overall passenger experience. This collaboration is just the beginning of a promising partnership,” said Abdulla Aripov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan. “We recognize the great potential for Škoda in Uzbekistan.” 

Škoda will supply wide-gauge electric train units, already in production for Latvian and Estonian railway operators, to Uzbekistan Railways. Škoda will start production next year. Czech banks financed the project, with the support of the insurance export agency EGAP.

“The fact that we have been selected as a supplier of trains to Uzbekistan is not only a testament to the high quality of our vehicles, but also a significant step in strengthening international partnerships,” Zdeněk Sváta, President Region Central East at Škoda Group, said.

“This contract confirms the important role we play in shaping the future of international rail transport and we will set strategic cooperation with Uzbekistan Railways,” he added.

Škoda’s modern electric trains offer reliability and power efficiency. The Uzbekistan Railways units will consist of four cars with a broad gauge, featuring ergonomic seating and an air-conditioned interior. These cars will have onboard wi-fi connection and an advanced external and internal camera system to enhance security. Additionally, a partial low-floor design will ensure accessibility for all. 

“The trains for Uzbekistan will have four cars and broad gauge (1520 mm),” Sváta continued. Production is based in Ostrava and part of the assembling will be in Uzbekistan.

This railway network in the region is integral to the Trans-Caspian international transport route, linked to the Trans-European network. Therefore, the so-called Central Corridor is a transport artery between Asia and the European Union.

“Lobbying for Czech companies is a standard part of our economic diplomacy. I am glad that our trip to Uzbekistan helped to conclude this contract, which is important for the entire Czech industry,” Martin Kupka, Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic concluded. “The development of the relationship with Uzbekistan opens the way to this country for other Czech companies, not only in the transport sector.”

The EU-Central Asia Summit held in Samarkand in November 2022 focused on sustainable transportation between the EU and Central Asia. Proposed measures include investment in rail infrastructure, rolling stock, port facilities and shipping on the Caspian Sea.