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Bruges, Prague, Bratislava: Epic new train route could connect major European cities in 2024

The journey will last 19 hours and pass through four different countries.
The journey will last 19 hours and pass through four different countries. Copyright Martin Katler
Copyright Martin Katler
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
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The journey will last 19 hours passing through four different countries.

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It’s full steam ahead for rail travel in 2024 as yet another new route is set to link up key destinations in Europe.

Czech public transport operator Leo Express has announced ambitious plans for a multi-country service zipping across the continent.

The proposed route will whisk passengers all the way from Belgium to Slovakia with a myriad of exciting stops along the way including in Germany and the Czech Republic.

Here’s what we know so far about the route and its potential launch date.

Travel from Belgium to Slovakia on a brand new train route in 2024

Leo Express submitted proposals to the Czech Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure last June and the plans are under consideration by Belgium’s Railway Transport regulator at the moment.

Should it get the green light, the Czech rail operator will launch a direct service connecting Ostend in Belgium to Bratislava in Slovakia, running in both directions.

The journey will last 19 hours and trains will depart from the Belgian coastal city at 6.15 am.

Leo Express has planned at least 50 stops along the way at some of Europe’s major city break destinations.

The company says the train will stop in Bruges, Ghent, Brussels and Liège in Belgium, followed by over 20 German cities including Aachen, Cologne, Hanover, Leipzig, and Dresden.

The train is set to pull into Prague in the Czech Republic at 8 pm and then travel through the night stopping at Slovakian cities Kuty and Malacky and arriving in the capital Bratislava just after 1 am the following morning.

The return journey would see similar departure and arrival timings.

The epic route is still pending approval including issues over access to Belgian infrastructure, but if it gets the go-ahead then it will likely launch sometime between late 2024 and early 2025.

Czech operator launches new train services between Slovakian cities

The Czech rail operator looks like it will become one to watch in the race to get more Europeans travelling by rail.

At the end of last year, Leo Express also took over services between Bratislava and Komárno in Slovakia.

Trains began running on 10 December and the company plans to deliver 100 daily connections along the route.

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