The EuroCity Košican service currently completes the journey via Vsetin in 8h 21min, with an average speed of 80km/h. The new SuperCity Pendolino service will cut the trip to around seven-and-a-half hours with an average speed of 95km/h, which according to CD makes it one of the fastest international trains in central Europe.
The services will be operated by CD's seven-car class 680 EMUs, with onboard services including a bistro and passenger Wi-Fi.
"We chose CD's Pendolino because we believe the quality and extent of its services will put us in a strong position at the start of direct competition with private operators in Slovakia," says ZSSK sales director Mr Jozef Schmidt. "We also believe it will encourage a large number of people who currently travel between Slovakia and the Czech Republic by bus and car to switch to the train."
This is not the first time the class 680s have operated into Slovakia. Between 2006 and 2009, and again in 2010-2011, they were operated jointly by CD and ZSSK on the SuperCity Slovenská Strela service between Prague and Bratislava. They were also used briefly on Prague – Ostrave – Žilina services.