SOKOLOV-based open access operator Railtrans has announced plans to run its own passenger trains between Praha and Ostrava in northern Moravia from the December 10 timetable change. There will be a single stop at Olomouc on the 358 km trip.
Paths have been requested from SZDC, and Railtrans expects to run nine pairs of RTExpress branded trains daily, with the KC250 fare for the 3h37min trip being half that offered on Czech Railways' SC Pendolino trains. The service would be operated on a purely commercial basis, as under Czech law subsidies may only be granted to operators which also run regional trains considered to meet social needs.
The lucrative Praha - Ostrava route is also in the focus of bus operator Student Agency, which plans to start running its own trains between the two cities in December 2008.