RegioJet, a private railway operator based in the Czech Republic, has accepted the terms of the Ukrainian Railways joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia), and it is ready to launch trains on the Prague–Chop–Prague route.

The CFTS portal reported this, citing the Interfax Ukraine news agency.

An agreement between the two parties is now expected to be signed.

"RegioJet is fully prepared to start operating trains on the Prague–Chop–Prague route. We are now waiting for Ukrzaliznytsia to sign the contract. All essential conditions have been accepted," the company said.

Earlier, Ukrzaliznytsia’s Board Chairman Yevhen Liaschenko expressed the hope that the Prague–Chop–Prague train would be launched jointly with RegioJet by the end of this year. He also said that the negotiations with the company had encountered difficulties. According to the head of Ukrzaliznytsia, the Czech company wanted commercial terms that were slightly better.

The Chop–Prague train will consist of three cars with a carrying capacity of 140 passengers, including 80 in sleeping cars and 60 in cars with seats. The ticket price will be about EUR 25.

The cars from Chop will run as part of the Prague-Kosice train, which consists of 18 cars.

In the summer, RegioJet announced the launch of a train from Kosice to Chop. "We want to extend our existing railway route from Košice to Chop and, in the future, to Mukacheve. After that, we want to attach our train to Ukrzaliznytsia’s trains and launch services to Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, and other cities in western Ukraine," RegioJet’s owner Radim Jančura said in an interview with the CFTS portal at the time.

Jančura added that since the European-gauge tracks reach as far as Mukacheve, there is a desire to launch a direct night train service train from Prague to Mukacheve, allowing passengers to get onto a train in Prague in the evening and wake up in Mukacheve.