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The Czech rail network is operated by České dráhy. Train travel is generally comfortable, reasonably priced and efficient. Trains are particularly useful for covering relatively long distances between major cities, such as between Prague and Brno, or Prague and Olomouc.

It's always safer to buy tickets in advance. Seat reservations are usually not necessary on smaller, regional trains, but are recommended if travelling on a Friday or over the weekend when trains tend to be more crowded. Bikes can be transported for a nominal fee (35Kč to 50Kč) on trains marked with a bicycle symbol on the timetable.

Two smaller private operators, RegioJet (RJ) and LEO Express (LEO), operate daily high-speed trains from Prague to the Moravian cities of Olomouc and Ostrava, with the possibility to connect to onward coach services to Slovakia and Poland. Timetable information for all trains is available online at IDOS (http://jizdnirady.idnes.cz).

Train Categories

Several different categories of train run on Czech rails, differing mainly in speed and comfort.

  • EC (EuroCity) Fast, comfortable, international trains, stopping at main stations only, with 1st- and 2nd-class coaches; supplementary charge of 60Kč; reservations recommended. Includes 1st-class-only SC Pendolino trains that run from Prague to Olomouc, Brno and Ostrava, with links to Vienna and Bratislava.

  • IC (InterCity) Long-distance and international trains with 1st- and 2nd-class coaches; supplement of 40Kč; reservations recommended.

  • R (rychlík) The main domestic network of fast trains with 1st- and 2nd-class coaches and sleeper services; no supplement except for sleepers; express and rychlík trains are usually marked in red on timetables.

  • Os (osobní) Slow trains using older rolling stock that stop in every one-horse town; 2nd class only.