LEO Express, a Czech transport company, plans to launch the first train from Ukraine to Prague via Krakow in December 2019, the CFTS portal reports, citing the Rynek Kolejowy portal. The train is expected to be operated up to four times a day, transporting passengers between Lviv and Prague, although its departure point will be a border station.
The Czech carrier is thus aiming to take advantage of the growing interest in travel to the European Union among Ukrainian citizens.
The Polish railway administration has already received information from Leo Express about its plan to operate trains on the Prague-Medyka-Prague route. The Czech operator intends to operate trains on this route from December 11, 2019, to December 10, 2024. It will operate the trains up to four times per day and seven days per week.
In addition, Leo Express intends to prioritize extension of the route to Ukraine – to the Mostyska border station in the Lviv region. However, for this to happen, the company needs to resolve the issue of access to Ukrainian railway infrastructure with the Ukrainian Railways joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia) and the issue of border control with the State Border Service. The European track gauge (1435 mm) only goes as far as the Mostyska-1 station in the Lviv region.
According to Leo Express’ plans, the trains will depart from the central railway station in Prague at 08:09, 10:09, 12:09, and 16:09 local time and arrive in Krakow after 6 hours and 40 minutes. The trip to Przemysl will take an additional 2 hours and 40 minutes, and arrival at the final station an additional 34 minutes. In total, the travel time will be 9 hours and 45 minutes. In the opposite direction, the trains are expected to depart at 23:16, 01:38, 06:38, or 09:38.
As reported, Leo Express is the first fully private railway operator in Poland. It operates on long-haul routes.