From today until further notice, Ukrainian citizens who present a valid Ukrainian passport can travel on Czech Railways trains free of charge. This is the carrier's response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the expected demand for travel back to the homeland due to mobilization.
Czech Railways sent out a notice to train staff earlier today informing them of entitlement to free travel for passengers who present their Ukrainian passport at ticket inspection. “Treat passengers with the appropriate level of empathy and help them find their way during transport,” the instructions state.
Czech Railways spokesman Petr Stahlavsky confirmed that the measure was issued today. “The measure is intended to enable a quick and smooth transfer of Ukrainian citizens, especially to Bohumin station. It is possible to continue via Poland to Ukraine from there,” Stahlavsky commented.
Yesterday, Czech Railways already offered several dozen cars with a capacity of up to 6,000 seats for the possible evacuation of residents from Ukraine. “The company can provide sleeping cars and especially dozens of passenger cars. Czech Railways can thus dispatch several evacuation trains with a maximum capacity of over 6,000 seats at once. The trains can also be used to evacuate people on the territory of neighboring countries,” Stahlavsky added.
Yesterday morning, an offer was sent to the Ukrainian ambassador by Gepard Express owner Albert Fikacek. He is offering his couchette cars which he used earlier this year to help with the aftermath of a tornado in the Breclav region. He says the train can hold up to 800 beds. He has also approached other carriers to see if they will join. Arriva has already answered the call, offering locomotive 140.079.