Chop station in Ukraine

RegioJet launches night train connecting Prague to Ukraine

Chop station in Ukraine Shutterstock

RegioJet launched the first Open Access fully commercial passenger rail service between the European Union and Ukraine, on Tuesday evening. The service will run daily in both directions, establishing a direct connection between the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Ukraine.

The maiden journey commenced from Prague at 21:52 CET (22:52 UKR time) yesterday, traversing through Košice in Slovakia, and reached its final stop at Chop, Ukraine, at 10:35 UKR time (09:35 CET) yesterday, covering the distance in just over one hour. Chop serves as a vital passenger railway hub, offering transfers to onward services operated by Ukrainian Railways.

Starting from March 27th, RegioJet has added a second line to Ukraine, connecting through Slovakia to the Zakarpattia Oblast. Passengers now have the option to choose between two lines. (Photo: RejioJet)
Starting from March 27th, RegioJet has added a second line to Ukraine, connecting through Slovakia to the Zakarpattia Oblast.  (Photo: RejioJet)

Passengers now have the option to choose between two services from Prague, as RegioJet has been operating on the Prague – Krakow (Poland) – Przemyśl (Poland)  route since December 2021. The journey between Prague and Kyiv with this route takes approximately 22 hours. It is conducted in cooperation with Ukrainian Railways, with a transfer to connecting seater and sleeper trains in the Polish city of Przemyśl due to the wider gauge of railway tracks in Ukraine, which RegioJet trains are not designed for. The Przemyśl-Kyiv route is serviced by seated cars. The Przemyśl-Zaporizhia and Przemyśl-Kharkiv routes are serviced based on availability with both seated and sleeper cars.

Bolstering cross-border connectivity

This new route is seen by various organisations, including the Alliance of Passenger Rail New Entrants in Europe (ALLRAIL), as a positive move towards furthering Ukraine’s integration with the European Continent. Armand Duthil, representing ALLRAIL, stated in a press release: “Two years after the unprovoked invasion by Russia, it is important to now enhance cross-border connectivity – with the aim that one day soon, Ukraine will join the Single European Railway Area.”

Additionally, RegioJet, the privately-owned operator spearheading this new EU-Ukraine service, has committed to investing its own resources into infrastructure improvements at Chop railway station as a gesture of goodwill towards the Ukrainian people. “It is a gift to the Ukrainian people”, says RegioJet’s founder Radim Jančura in an ALLRAIL press release.

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Author: Emma Dailey

Emma Dailey is an editor at RailTech.com and RailTech.be.

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