R1 - cancelled before startingWhen the Czechoslovak government decided to build a real metro instead of an underground tramway, a Czech rolling stock manufacturer ČKD Tatra Smíchov was encharged with designing the trains. Two prototype two-car units were constructed in 1970 and 1971 but then suddenly a new political decision came: The trains for Prague metro will be imported from the Soviet Union. It soon turned out to be very unlucky decision, because the Czech R1 trains were of an innovative concept and much more modern than the obsolete Soviet trains. Nevertheless, when our "friends" from the Soviet Union had ordered, we had to import their goods willy-nilly.
However, ČKD tested the trains for several years then, as they hoped to use them for export. But these hopes didn't come true and this interesting vehicle came to its sad end when it was scrapped in the 1980s.
Ečs - obsolete from the beginningIn 1971, when the first prototypes of R1 trains were already built, the Czechoslovak government decided to import trains of "E" series from the Soviet union. This type had been produced since 1963 but in fact it was the same concept as the first Russian trains of "A" series, which came into service in 1934! Therefore the E series was already quite antique when it came to Prague. A modification for Prague was called Ečs, which stands for "E Czechoslovak".
The Ečs trains began to serve when the first part of Prague mero was opened 9 May, 1974. Initially three-car trains were soon extended to four-car and four years later, in 1979, to five-car, which is the maximal length to fit in Prague stations. The last Ečs series trains were delivered in 1976 and they always served only on line C, as on te other lines there are too steep gradients. In 1994 first trains of this series were retired and until 1997 all of them were scrapped except four cars which were preserved. One is now in Prague Transport Museum and the other form a three-car train which is stabled in Kačerov depot and can be seen on the line several times a year.
81-71 - not much innovation
81-71As the Ečs series trains weren't able to cope with steep gradients, which were present on line A (at that time under construction), the Prague Public Transport Company asked the manufacturer for several improvements. So a new type called 81-71 was developped. But despite completely different nomenclature, it was in fact very similar to the Ečs trains.
The first trains arrived to Prague in 1978 and deliveries continued until 1990. In total, 507 cars were delivered for 101 five-car trains. They served on all three lines of Prague metro. On line C they have been replaced by new M1 trains and on lines A and B by modernized 81-71M trains. The end of their regular service on line B (and in Prague metro as a whole) came on July 2nd 2009.
81-71M - better than the old ones, cheaper than the new ones...
The first 8171M trains were delivered for line C where they served together with the 8171 and the new M1 trains. But gradually they were all replaced by M1 trains and moved to line A. Now this type serves the whole line A and line B.
M1 - finally a train for the new century
The final number of the M1 trains for line C is 48. Line C is now the only line where these completely new trains are in regular service, while line A and line B are served by 8171M trains.
6MtŠkoda Plzeň, the rolling stock manufacturer which has been reconstructing the 8171M trains, which are in service on lines A and B, has also created a prototype of a new train called 6Mt. It is quite simmilar to the 8171M altered interior, newly designed front and many technical improvements.
Originally it was intended mainly for line B, but DP Praha decided to economize and for the timme being only get the 8171 trains modernized to the 8171M, so there is presently little chance that the 6Mt trains will appear in the regular service in Prague, unless they are ordered for the extension of line A or the new line D within the next years.
M2Like the M1 series, a new type M2 is also being developed in the SKV factory in Prague. It is now in an early stage so few details are known about it.
The chance of introduction of the M2 series to the regular service in Prague metro is similar to the 6Mt: They may be ordered for Prague within several years for the extension of line A or for the new line D.