Leo Express Second-Largest Open-Access Operator in Germany
Private Czech rail company Leo Express entered the German rail market in partnership with FlixTrain a year ago on 24 August 2017. It runs services together with FlixTrain on the route between Berlin, Frankfurt and Stuttgart, with at least one train a day, sometimes two, from Thursday to Sunday.
Leo Express remains the only Czech passenger rail company in operation outside of the Czech / Slovak region and it has also become the second-largest open-access operator in Germany.
CEO of Leo Express, Peter Köhler, said:
“Our services meet the demand for alternative, sustainable and environmentally friendly transport. Germany has a huge liberalized transport market on which we want to further develop and which we want to connect with the Czech one through the Prague-Berlin route.”
In July 2018 Leo Express worked with FlixTrain to add two electric Siemens Taurus (EuroSprinter) locomotives to its fleet. These locomotives can run at 200 km/h and will allow the operator’s trains to be lengthened by ten cars. At the same time Leo Express entered the Polish railway market, connecting the Czech Republic to Poland. The operator plans to run trains on the international route between Prague, Bad Schandau (on the German-Czech border) and Berlin in the future, connecting this route with its route into Poland.
FlixTrain meanwhile has accused Deutsche Bahn of ‘unfair competition’ in how routes are awarded on the German rail network. Deutsche Bahn rejected this view, stating that ‘routes are awarded in an official, standardised process that the regulatory body is involved in’.