European operators offer Ukrainian refugees free travel

Train operators from Germany, Poland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Lithuania have announced that refugees from Ukraine can travel for free. Also, a train service by the Czech RegioJet in cooperation with Ukrainian Railways will run to Czech Republic, the companies announced on Monday.

The German Deutsche Bahn, Austrian ÖBB, Polish PKP, Dutch NS, Belgian NMBS, Danish DSB, Finnish VR, Lithuanian LTG Link and international high-speed operator Thalys announced that they would allow Ukrainians to travel by train for free or contribute to a safe escape route from the war-torn country.

DB also said to be in talks with its Polish counterpart to create additional capacity on the cross-border tracks, which during regular service see up to 6 long-distance trains per day. One of the services has Przemyśl as its point of departure, a city situated on the Polish border with Ukraine. Talks are also being held with ÖBB in Austria and Czech Railways regarding the same issue.

Ukraine – Prague humanitarian service

Czech operator RegioJet will provide a daily humanitarian train service between Ukraine and Prague. This train service runs daily in both directions and consists of up to 20 carriages. In cooperation with Ukrainian Railways, RegioJet will run from Kiev to Lviv and then as night trains from Przemyśl to Prague, with stops in Ostrava, Olomouc and Pardubice. The train will have sleeping cars with a total capacity of up to 400 seats and sufficient capacity for luggage transport.

More than 500.000 people are on the run in Ukraine, with the majority heading towards the Polish border, where long cues have formed at the border patrol stations. Polish authorities say around 281.000 Ukrainians have entered the country to date.

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Author: Nick Augusteijn

Editor RailTech.com

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