škoda 2024

Leo Express plans train services to Belgium

posted on 20th Nov 2023 08:59

Renfe, which owns a 50% stake in Leo Express, has announced that the latter plans to introduce services between Belgium and Slovakia via Germany and the Czech Republic. According to plans submitted to the Belgian rail regulator (Dienst Regulering van het Spoorwegvervoer en van de Exploitatie van de Luchthaven Brussel-Nationaal) in August 2023, LE plans to operate one pair of daily trains on the Oostende - Praha - Bratislava route.

The aim is to start operations on 15 December 2024, but service in Belgium could not begin until spring 2025, where "Leo Express plans to work with a railway company that has a valid safety certificate for Belgium". LE has a valid safety certificate for the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland and its parent company has a valid safety certificate for operations in Germany but not for Belgium.

In the Belgium to Slovakia direction, the train will depart Oostende at 06.15, will be in Brussels Midi at 07.22 and in Hannover at 13.45. It is expected to arrive in Praha at around 20.00 and finish its journey the following day in Bratislava at 01.13.

The question is which vehicles will be used for the announced service. The most likely scenario is that locomotive-hauled trains will be used, as it will be difficult to have the already approved EMUs for the crossing of the four countries. The attached indicative illustration dates back to 2016, when Leo Express submitted a bid to the Czech Ministry of Transport for the operation of trains between Praha, Plzeň, Cheb and München (the operator at that time indicated an intended number of seven locomotives and 40 carriages). Let us therefore be surprised how this plan, one of the many intended (earlier) by this operator, will be realised.

Related news