Both Regiojet and Czech Railways (CD) applied for the paths being used by the new services, with Czech infrastructure SŽDC ultimately ruling in favour of the open-access operator.
Regiojet will operate two return services per day with a journey time of 3h 57min for the 396km trip. Services will call at Pardubice, Ústí nad Orlici, Česká Třebova, Brno Main Station, Břeclav, Kúty and Bratislava Main Station. Prague - Bratislava fares will start at €14.
Prague - Bratislava is Regiojet’s second cross-border route between the two countries after Prague - Košice, which is served by two return services per day, one of which runs overnight.
From December 11 RegioJet will also operate a third service between Prague and Brno, which will run as far as Uhersko Hradíštĕ on the Czech-Slovak border.
Due to low demand, Regiojet is reducing the length of Prague – Haviřov services from nine to six coaches, which will release rolling stock for the Brno and Bratislava services. Traction will be provided by multi-system Siemens Vectron locomotives leased from ELL, which are equipped to operate on Slovakia’s 25kV 50Hz ac electrification system.
CD filed a legal complaint with the Czech rail regulator in August seeking to block Regiojet from operating Prague - Brno services, but the regulator has not reached a decision on the complaint. At the same time CD petitioned the Court of Justice in Prague to forbid SŽDC from allocating track capacity to Regiojet, but this request was rejected.