Early in September 2011 the first Czech open access passenger service started, provided by RegioJet between Praha, Ostrava and Bohumín. This long distance service was not subsidised, RegioJet operating it on a commercial basis, at its own financial risk. Then, in December 2012 ČD found itself with another competitor offering services between Praha and the Ostrava district, this being LEO Express. The route has subsequently become a battleground between all three operators, as they vie with one other to win passengers.
Crowds waiting at Praha hl. n. to board a RJ service. At peak periods RJ services are now formed of up to eight cars, and thanks to this progress has been made on one front: it is now possible for some passengers to travel without making a seat reservation in advance.
Photo: Tomáš Kuchta