RegioJet will start regular rail connections between Prague, Lviv, and Kyiv this Saturday. This follows a humanitarian service from Prague to Przemysl, a city on the border with Ukraine, and has seen refugees and a flow of humanitarian assistance through the city since Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Passengers will be able to use the connection without restrictions.
For holders of Ukrainian passports, a ticket from Prague to Lviv will cost CZK 229, and to Kyiv, CZK 639. By introducing the connection, RegioJet is responding to the high demand of Ukrainian families who want to return to visit relatives and friends, said Tereza Ptáčková, the manager of foreign projects, in a press release. Many Ukrainians are returning even though the Russians are still attacking their country.
So far, people have mainly taken buses and paid CZK 1,000 to 1,200 for a ticket to Lviv. However, the bus spent five to eight hours in a queue at the border. Czech Railways trains did not even go to Ukraine before the war.
Passengers will have to change to a Ukrainian train in Přemyšl because the trains in Ukraine run on a different gauge. The train runs from Prague via Bohumín, Katowice, and Krakow to Przemysl and continues via Lviv to Kyiv.
The first humanitarian train left on March 1, less than a week after the start of the Russian aggression, and the fare was and still is free in the Czech Republic and Poland. In that time, the carrier has transported 30,000 Ukrainians and, in cooperation with the non-profit organization People in Need, over 5,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid.
The train will run daily and consist of sleeper carriages with a hot dinner included in the ticket price. It will leave Prague after 20:00. Border checks are expected to take place on the train, so there should be no delays. The train will arrive in Kyiv at 22:34 on the second day, with a two-hour transfer time in Przemysl. The train will leave Kyiv at 8:30 and is due to arrive in Prague at 8:55 on the second day.
“We believe that this cooperation with the Ukrainian Railways will bring passengers a comfortable regular connection and will help the residents of Ukraine to have better contact with their family and friends, help with returning home or, on the contrary, commuting to work,” said Radim Jančura, the owner of RegioJet.