Trains will initially only operate during off-peak times, to reduce the number of passengers, and Prasa will only sell weekly passes instead of one-off tickets.

Officials travelled on a Prasa service last week to assess the operator’s cleaning regime.

Britain: Open-access operator Grand Central has announced a ‘measured’ return to service after a four-month suspension during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Bookings can now be made for two daily return services between Bradford Interchange and Kings Cross and a further three daily return services between Sunderland and Kings Cross, which will begin to operate again from July 26. More services will be added as demand increases.

“In late March it became obvious to us we couldn’t operate a viable rail service under the government’s lockdown rules,” says managing director, Mr Richard McClean. “Since that decision we have worked hard to plan every aspect of a safe, sustainable return and we can now see that the lockdown has eased to such a degree for us to begin a measured return to service from late July.”

International: MAV-Start relaunched the Corona InterCity sleeper service between Budapest and Brasov on July 1, 105 days after it was put on hold.

The fleet used for the services, which runs via Oradea, Cluj-Napoca and Miercurea Ciuc, has been refurbished and now features air-conditioning, power sockets and upgraded toilets, as well as a more modern braking system to reduce noise.

Norway: The Norwegian Railway Directorate has announced that commuter, regional and inter-city services around Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger will return to the normal timetable by mid-August.

Long-distance services will resume as soon as operators are ready, in order to provide a transport option for passengers holidaying within Norway. Cross-border passenger services to Sweden remain suspended, due to ongoing travel advice and the quarantine rules between the countries.

The government has also allocated NKr 1bn ($US 106m) to maintain services during the pandemic.

The Netherlands: Netherlands Railways (NS) has begun to see a resurgence in the sale of international tickets. While sales dropped to 3% in mid-April, during the height of the pandemic, this had since increased to 30%.

The growth in tickets to Berlin has been particularly strong following the reopening of services to Germany and Belgium at the beginning of June.

All regional cross-border trains have resumed since the beginning of June.

Morocco: Moroccan National Railways (ONCF) has carried more than 350,000 passengers since resuming Al Buraq high-speed and Atlas regular services on June 25.

The operator has since increased the number of daily services from 116 to 144 to respond to growing demand.

ONCF says it is managing passenger safety by controlling the number of seats available on each train and enforcing social distancing.

Poland: PKP Intercity resumed overnight passenger services on July 10 in response to a growing demand for transport options.

The operator says it is following strict safety guidelines, including preparing the coaches before the journey and cleaning during operation. Items that passengers come into contact with such as door handles, hand rails and toilets are also being regularly disinfected.

Passengers have to wear a facemask while travelling.