A Swiss panoramic train is now riding on Czech railways through Moravia

The new panoramic train car rode through Moravia for the first time this morning as part of the Porta Moravica line between Břeclav and Bohumín.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 11.06.2023 16:56:00 (updated on 24.06.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

A panoramic train car from Swiss Federal Railways began operation today on the railway line between Břeclav and Bohumín. The car is part of the Porta Moravica line that will regularly travel from Graz in Austria, through the Czech Republic, and to Przemyśl in Poland.

With its partially glazed roof, the panoramic car offers passengers significantly enhanced views compared to ordinary train cars, and allows much more light into the cabin. The cars rode for 30 years in Switzerland and neighboring countries, most recently as part of the Gotthard Panorama Express.

The panoramic car was positioned as the third car from the end of the train and arrived in Břeclav shortly after 9:00 a.m. this morning, running on schedule. The train reached Bohumín shortly after 11:00 a.m.

The majority of seats in the panoramic car were full this morning, according to Czech News agency, and occupied by both foreign travelers and Czech train enthusiasts. 

"Thanks to the large arched panoramic windows, passengers enjoy up to 90 percent larger views compared to regular cars, and the angle from which they can observe is increased by 25 percent, to 40 percent," Czech Railways spokesperson Petr Šťáhlavský states in a press release.

"Additionally, the panoramic car's elevated floor allows passengers to have slightly better views, even when passing by noise barriers."

The Porta Moravica line departs from Graz, Austria daily at 5:25 a.m. and reaches Przemyśl, Poland at 4:48 p.m. The departure from Břeclav in South Moravia takes place daily at 9:10 a.m. The panoramic car is exclusively available for first-class passengers.

"Regular first-class tickets are valid, and it is advisable to reserve a seat," notes Šťáhlavský. "The price of a one-way Flexi basic ticket for first class from Břeclav to Ostrava main station is 433 crowns. For a journey from Ostrava to Graz via the Semmering mountain railway, the price of a one-way early ticket for the panoramic car starts at 1,181 crowns."

Swiss Federal Railways originally purchased a total of 12 Apm61 Panorama cars back in 1991. The cars were specifically designed for travel through regions known for their scenic mountain landscapes and river valleys, such as the Alps or the Rhine Valley

In 2010, the cars underwent modernization, which included the installation of electrical sockets to accommodate portable travel electronics such as laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. They are equipped with air conditioning, provide 54 seats, and are capable of traveling at speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour.

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