POLAND: Through its local partner DLA, Czech open access inter-city operator LEO Express has applied for paths to operate on the Katowice/Kraków – Warszawa and Warszawa – Poznan – Szczecin routes. Announcing its entry into the Polish market on June 12, LEO Express said that it was ‘currently holding intensive negotiations’ with infrastructure manager PKP PLK ‘and other agencies’ over securing capacity on these routes.

LEO Express founder Leoš Novotný said that his aim was to supplement existing operators, offering quality long-distance services that would attract new customers to rail from the private car. In 2014-15 ‘we see the potential for at least 5 million new passengers,’ he said, stressing that ‘our goal is not acrimonious competition’.

‘We appreciate in particular the positive attitude of the Ministry of Transport and other institutions’, added DLA CEO Wanda Zielińska, noting their ‘declared readiness’ to support the development of the Polish rail industry in this direction.

LEO Express and DLA plan to create over 150 jobs, ranging from drivers to onboard staff and sales personnel. Expressions of interest have already started to arrive, the companies report.