CZECH private operator Leo Express says it will this month launch ticket sales for the Bratislava - Dunajská Streda - Vel'ký Meder - Komárno service, which it will operate from the introduction of the 2024 timetable on December 10.

Leo Express was awarded the 10-year Bratislava - Komárno operating contract in 2022, its first for PSO services in Slovakia replacing Slovakian national operator ZSSK and Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). The two national operators were given a two-year contract in 2020, replacing RegioJet which had operated services on the line for 10 years.

Leo Express will keep the fare between Bratislava and Komárno at €5.25, and will also offer season tickets passes for seven, 30 and 90 days. The operator is also offering an introductory €365 annual season ticket called the DanubePass. These tickets include priority seating and access to the lounge at Bratislava main station.

In January, Leo Express concluded a 10-year contract with Alpha Trains to lease 21 Alstom Coradia Lint 41 DMUs to operate regional services on the Bratislava - Komárno route. As well as air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, wheelchair-accessible toilets and onboard coffee, the trains are low-floor, improving access for passengers with reduced mobility or those travelling with bicycles or push chairs. The trains have capacity for nearly 240 passengers, including 140 seated.

Trains will operate every 20 minutes between Dunajská Streda, Kvetoslavov and Bratislava during peak periods, with nearly 100 connections a day on the 100km route.

Leo Express will present the trains and services to the public at Bratislava main station on November 7. While Leo Express says that it has sufficient staff in place to ensure the smooth running of the new service, it is also recruiting mechanics, electricians, train drivers and stewards for ongoing crew needs and will showcase these positions during the public presentation.

“We are pleased to be working with the Ministry of Transport of the Slovak Republic on this important project, which includes inter-city, regional and suburban transport around the capital city of Bratislava and the Danube region,” says Leo Express CEO, Mr Peter Köhler.