POLAND: Rail regulator UTK has awarded Czech open access operator LEO Express certification enabling it to operate its five Stadler Flirt electric multiple-units on the PKP-PLK network.

This follows modifications to the units undertaken in early January under a €1·5m programme which was 85% funded by the European Union. On May 8 unit 480 002 arrived in Poznań for a week of testing under the supervision of the notified body Instytut Pojazdów Szynowych Tabor, including trials on several lines in Wielkopolska.

On February 8 LEO Express dropped plans to run trains between Praha and Warszawa-Zachodnia, after UTK declined to allocate train paths which it believed conflicted with existing services operated under public service obligation contracts.

LEO Express has now filed another request, seeking to run open access services on the Praha – Bohumín – Katowice – Kraków route from the December 2017 timetable change. Despite the state of the track, LEO Express believes its trains will be competitive with both the national operators and coach services.

  • LEO Express is to operate a second Praha – Košice service on weekdays from July 11.