January 07, 2014

Arriva abandons Prague suburban services

Written by  Quintus Vosman
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Arriva abandons Prague suburban services Quintus Vosman

ARRIVA's Czech rail subsidiary Arriva Vlaky withdrew its open-access suburban service between Prague Masarykovo and Kralupy nad Vltavou on December 13, just three months after the start of operations.

Arriva Vlaky started operations on September 23 2013 on its own initiative and took on all financial risk for the service with the aim of convincing Prague transport authority PID that the service was viable. However, passenger numbers were disappointingly low and the lack of financial support meant the losses were too large for Arriva to sustain.

Arriva operated eight return services per day on the 27km route, offering a regular two hour frequency. A single class 628 two-car dmu provided by Arriva's parent company German Rail (DB) was used for all trains, and was equipped with passenger Wi-Fi.

Arriva Vlaky director Mr Jaroslav Richter has been released from his position.

Despite the failure of the Prague suburban service, Arriva Vlaky still plans to continue developing its rail business in the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, Czech newspaper Mlad√° fronta Dnes reports that British bus and train operator National Express has established a Czech subsidiary, National Express CZ, which plans to bid for public service obligation regional operating contracts.