České dráhy is boosting its transport capacity before Christmas. The national carrier will dispatch the maximum number of passenger carriages available. However, this year's pre-Christmas operation activities are complicated by the approaching epidemic of respiratory diseases, including covid-19, which is affecting the number of employees in maintenance as well as the operation capacities of the carrier. In spite of this unfavourable situation, the operator will deploy maximum staff members and technical equipment. The trains will then run on Christmas Day (Monday) and St. Stephenְ’s Day (Tuesday) as on public holidays. Major traffic reductions are to be expected on Christmas Eve (Sunday). Passengers are advised to pay closer attention to the notes concerning train operation reductions.

Before the Christmas holidays, České dráhy is fostering long-distance trains with dozens of scheduled as well as standby passenger carriages and is offering hundreds of extra seats at this time. But still, you can expect high occupancy on many connection services, especially at the usual peak times. Some services are even already fully booked. The situation is further complicated by long delays in the delivery dates of planned technical inspections of passenger carriages at external suppliers and currently even by a high level of sickness rate caused by respiratory diseases, including covid-19, both among staff members who maintain and prepare train sets and among the train accompanying staff and drivers. Nevertheless, České dráhy will ensure the maximum possible range of transport and capacity of connection services.


The carrier also recommends that passengers travelling longer distances make a seat reservation or at least check the occupancy of the scheduled services. This is possible, for example, in the ČD E-shop or by using the My Train application, where train configurations are available, including an overview of reserved and available seats. For passengers who are to travel shorter distances in the rush hours before Christmas, especially in large conurbations such as Prague, we recommend using regional trains instead of long-distance trains. These are e.g. the Prague – Kolín, Prague – Benešov u Prahy, Prague – Beroun lines, etc.

Extent of operation on public holidays

The pre-Christmas “travel fever” is traditionally followed by a drop in demand for travelling during the holidays. The least interest in travels is traditionally in the evening and at night of 24 December and also in the morning hours of 25 December. This is the time of year when the greatest traffic reductions occur. Over the Christmas holidays, usually from 27 December 2023 to 2 January 2024, journeys may also be restricted for some of the so-called school trains used mainly by students and pupils to commute to schools.

On 24 December, České dráhy’s train services will run as if it were a public holiday and, as every year, there will be a gradual reduction in service at around 18-19 hours. That is why most evening and night regional trains and many long-distance trains will not run. For example, the last fast train from Prague to Ústí nad Labem will leave the Prague main railway station at 18:45, to Plzeň at 19:35 and to České Budějovice at 18:20 hours.

Also on Monday 25 December, trains will run according to the holiday timetables, however, the classical holiday morning operation will start a little later, only between 6 and 7 hours. ČD trains will also run according to the holiday timetables on Tuesday 26 December for St. Stephen’s Day.

In connection with the holiday traffic operation, we recommend that passengers pay increased attention to the information about the restrictions during the Christmas period this coming weekend. Specific details concerning the restrictions on individual trains are included in the electronic connection search engines, and in the timetable books the date restrictions are marked with the appropriate note (e.g., the figure 10  indicates trains which do not run on 24 and 31 December, the figure 11 indicates trains not running on 25 December and 1 January, and the note 18 refers to the trains which run on working days except for the Christmas holidays, etc.).