EUROPE: RegioJet has obtained all the approvals needed to launch its planned overnight service between Praha, Kraków and Przemysl, the Czech independent operator confirmed on December 30.

Having received authorisation from the Polish regulator UTK and the necessary open access paths on the Polish network, RegioJet said it expected to launch the new international service by April 2021. An exact date will be confirmed following the easing of Covid 19 travel restrictions.

Evening departures from Praha, Przemysl and Kraków will enable early morning arrivals at the destinations. A ‘direct guaranteed transfer’ will be provided at Przemysl Glowny with connecting services to and from Lviv, operated by RegioJet with a local Ukrainian partner.

The trains will offer both sleeping car and seated accommodation, with RegioJet promising ‘the largest range of services at the best prices’. Reservations will be included in the ticket price, along with free coffee, bottled water and at-seat wifi offering both an internet connection and the onboard entertainment portal.

‘Entering the Polish market has been in our plans for a long time’, said RegioJet owner Radim Jančura. ‘From the spring of 2021, we will offer daily connections from Kraków, Przemysl and Lviv to Praha, Olomouc and other cities in the Czech Republic. Passengers will have the full range of onboard services that they already enjoy on other RegioJet services.’

Noting that it already carries around a quarter of a million passengers a year on its night trains, out of approximately 15 million passengers in total, RegioJet says it is committed to the expansion of overnight services across Europe, arguing that proposals now under discussion at EU level should be a joint project embracing both state-owned and private operators. It plans to resume its successful overnight service from Praha to Croatia for the 2021 summer season.

The company is currently expanding its long-distance fleet, having taken delivery of the first two of 15 Traxx MS3 multi-system locomotives from Bombardier Transportation. It expects to procure at least 70 coaches during 2021, augmenting the 50 acquired in 2020 and lifting its fleet to more than 300 vehicles.