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Czech company proposes train link from Belgium to Slovakia

14:39 18/11/2023

Czech rail transport company Leo Express is planning to organise regular train services from Belgium to Slovakia, via Germany and the Czech Republic, according to a communication sent by the company to the rail transport regulatory service this week.

The journey would take around 19 hours and include almost 50 stops.

The submitted plans refer to a daily service in both directions that would be inaugurated at the end of 2024 or in the spring of 2025.

The train would depart from Ostend shortly after 6.00 and after stopping at more than 20 stations in Germany - including Aachen and Cologne - it would make over 10 stops in the Czech Republic before reaching its final destination in Bratislava, Slovakia after 1.00.

In total, the route would cover more than 1,000 kilometres from Ostend to Bratislava. Belgian stops would include Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, Leuven and Liège.

Night trains have seen a return to popularity recently, and part of the route proposed by Leo Express – notably between Dresden and Prague – corresponds to part of the route that European Sleeper night trains will take in a few months' time.

Those trains currently run from Brussels to Berlin, but are due to continue to Dresden and Prague from the end of March 2024.

An increase in European rail connections is not limited to night trains, either. Heurotrain has announced that it wants to run high-speed trains from the Netherlands to London and Paris from the end of 2027, via Antwerp and Brussels.

It wants to run 15 trains per day in both directions, according to the proposal submitted to the Dutch competition authority for consideration.

Another operator, Evolyn, also recently announced its intention to compete with Eurostar in the Channel Tunnel from 2025, with a Paris-London link.

Other companies with plans for high-speed trains on the Amsterdam-Paris route, via Belgium, include Qbuzz and Arriva.

Written by Helen Lyons