More than 60,000 people used RegioJet train connection to Croatia this summer

Direct train from the Czech Republic to Croatia, photo: Archive Regiojet

More than 60,000 people from the Czech Republic and Slovakia travelled to Croatia with the private rail company RegioJet this summer, the company announced this week. The direct overnight train connection to Croatia was launched at the end of June and runs until September 25. Next year, the company plans to launch the connection already in May.

Croatia has been one of the top holiday destinations for Czechs for decades. Just last year, around 750,000 Czechs travelled to Croatia, according to data by the Public Opinion Research Centre. While most Czechs usually travel to Croatia by car, many have welcomed the possibility to use a direct train connection instead of spending hours on the highway.

In July and August, the company RegioJet dispatched daily trains going in both directions. In September, they ran only three times a week. The average occupancy rate was more than 90 percent with a capacity of 500 to 560 passengers per one link, the company said in a press release.

"The link to Croatia has become our most sought after train connection. For the first time in the company’s history, we have dispatched a train going through five different countries and for the first time, we have closely cooperated with state carriers, namely in Croatia and Slovenia," says Aleš Ondrůj, spokesman of RegioJet.

The demand has also grown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced people change their holiday plans at the last minute.

The first yellow train on the line Prague - Brno - Bratislava - Ljubljana - Rijeka set off on June 30th. The last one will leave Croatia’s Rijeka this Saturday, September 25.

"Most of our connections to Croatia’s Rijeka were completely sold out. Roughly half of the travellers used bus connections, which brought them directly to one of the thirty most popular holiday destinations," Ondrůj said.

Due to the high demand, RegioJet has already started preparing a train connection for next year, which should be launched in May.

Czech Railways operated a direct train connection to Croatia in the past, but it was cancelled for economic reasons. Between 2003 and 2009 there was a car train running from Prague to Split. Between 2009 until 2017 there was a direct night train on the line Prague- Split and Prague - Bar.