Many of you will not have heard of Leo Express.
This Czech-based open access rail firm operates trains linking Prague with numerous points in Slovakia and Poland.
But its success in expanding open access rail across the above nations has brought it to attention of Spain’s national operator Renfe.
Spanish national operator RENFE has announced its intention to acquire a 50% stake in central European open access operator Leo Express https://t.co/41VteX78fV
— Railway Gazette International (@railwaygazette) March 9, 2021
It seems as though Spain’s rail deregulation (where SNCF will soon be operating domestic services) has expanded Renfe’s horizons.
According to the railway press Renfe is initially planning to take a 50 per cent stake in Leo Express. One would expect Renfe to use its clout to further expand the Czech operator’s network.
According to the Spanish press Leo Express carried 2.4 million passengers in 2019 with revenue of €40 million.
What is also interesting about Leo Express is that it struck a deal to acquire trains made in China.
It currently has three of these Sirius trains with a further 30 on order.
The initial three trains are currently awaiting certification according to railjournal.com of last December (planned service entry in 2021 may have been delayed by the pandemic).
More pictures of the Cirius trains can be found here.
Leo Express is a member of Allrail, an alliance of open access operators within mainland Europe.
Should Renfe acquires its stake in Leo Express it is unclear whether or not Leo Express will remain an Allrail member.