[FREE / passenger] ÖBB and ČD: Railjet celebrate its 10th anniversary between Vienna and Prague

Since the introduction of the ‘Railjet’ between Vienna and Prague ten years ago, the service has developed into a flagship route for cooperation between ÖBB and České dráhy. Within ten years, passenger volumes have increased by around 40%.

ČD Railjet near Eichberg on 05.07.2022 © Lorenzo Pallotta

On 24.06.2024, a festive trip from Prague to Wien took place. The Graz – Wien – Brno – Prague route is operated eight times daily with red ÖBB Railjets and blue ČD Railjets. One daily connection is offered beyond Prague to Dresden and Berlin.

The introduction of the Railjet connection between the two Capital cities has brought a significant increase in comfort in cross-border transport between the Czech Republic and Austria. The success of the joint ÖBB and České dráhy service is reflected in the considerable increase in passenger numbers.

ÖBB 1216 240 in Spital am Semmering on 06.07.2022 © Lorenzo Pallotta

Once upon a time

In June 2014, the first Railjets started running between Wiener Neustadt – Wien – Prague with individual train pairs. In December 2014, the new Graz – Wien – Prague line was opened, with a service every two hours and seven train pairs. With the 2018 timetable, the offer was expanded to include an additional pair of trains.

ÖBB 1216 020 on Kalte-Rinne-Viadukt on 05.07.2022 © Lorenzo Pallotta

Since the introduction of the connection ten years ago, travel times have been reduced, and mobility between the two European capitals has improved. Today, the travel time for the Wien – Prague route is 4:01 hours, Graz – Prague 6:45 hours, and Brno can be reached from Wien within 1:26 hours.

In addition to the well-known Railjet offer, Graz – Wien – Brno – Prague, ÖBB and České dráhy also offer a connection through the Waldviertel and Southern Bohemia. From Wien, Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof travels twice daily to Prague via Gmünd (Lower Austria) and Tabor.

ÖBB 1216 210 in Gänserndorf on 13.07.2020 © Lorenzo Pallotta

The future

In April 2021, České dráhy ordered 180 new express cars from Siemens Mobility and Škoda Transportation. 20 sets of 9 Siemens Viaggio Comfort cars with Siemens Vectron MS multi-system electric locomotive will have a maximum speed of 230 km/h and operate on international connections between Prague and Wien. An extension up to Villach is also planned.