Leo Express (Czech Republic), a private bus and rail operator, plans to launch trains on the route Prague – Krakow – Przemysl – Medyka (Polish-Ukrainian border) in mid-March 2020, the CFTS portal reports, citing the Rynek Kolejowy publication.

As previously reported, the Czech company has received permission to operate on this route from the Polish Railway Administration. However, the winter train timetable had already been approved when the permission was granted, as a result of which Leo Express trains are not included in Poland’s domestic train timetable.

That notwithstanding, according to the Czech operator’s management, it intends to begin rail transport operations on the route as soon as possible. “We will try to fit in our trains during adjustment of the timetable. This will take place in mid-March,” said Juraj Andrejka, the managing director for the Polish and Ukrainian markets at Leo Express.

According to Andrejka, the operator will use Flirt trains for transportation.

As the CFTS portal reported earlier, the permission granted by the Polish Railway Administration allows the Czech operator to operate four pairs of trains daily for the next five years (until December 10, 2024). It is granted access to operations in the Prague – Poland – Medyka international railway corridor. In Poland, the carrier was granted the right to stop its trains at 17 stations, including Katowice, Krakow, Tarnow, Rzeszow, and Przemysl.

At the beginning of 2019, Leo Express announced that it saw the extension of the route to Ukraine (to the Mostyska border station in the Lviv region) as a priority. However, for this, Leo Express must resolve the issue of access to the Ukrainian railway infrastructure with the Ukrainian Railways joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia) and the issue of border control with Ukraine’s State Border Service. The European track gauge (1435 mm) only goes as far as the Mostyska-1 station in the Lviv region.