Můj vlak: Czech Rail’s Amazing Train App
Czechia may be a small country. But it has a great railway. Perhaps even greater than the Swiss railway. Apart from superb and cheap day trains, České Drahy have night trains and proper dining cars. Little ČD rail buses ply the forests and hills and reach even the tiniest hamlets of this romantic Central European country. If you are headed for Prague by train, have a look at Můj vlak.
Můj vlak is the mobile app made by České Drahy. It runs on iPhones and Android phones.
Můj vlak can be used in Czechia for buying České Drahy tickets and seat reservations. It can also sell you tickets beyond the Czech border - deep into Slovakia, Hungary and Germany.
How to set it up
- Download Můj vlak from Google Play or the Apple App store. Out of the box, you can use it for timetable, train and station enquiries.
- If you want to use it to buy tickets and seat reservations, you are going to need an account (click here to set one up now). This is possible both in the app or in an internet browser.
- That's it. Můj vlak comes in Czech, English and German. You may have to adjust the language.
The main menu has four categories. Each category has a search mask of its own.
The Connections section looks up connections across Europe. With an internet connection it is powerful. Můj vlak finds connections even in Russia (I hit it with Blagoveshchensk-Birobidzhan). It only gives up when you ask it something insane - “Tashkent Pass-Brest (*F)”
There is an extra menu in which you can specify your particular whims and fancies, such as “No ICE trains” or “via Orsha” or “Special and historic trains”. This is very detailed and immensely helpful if you want to zero in on a particular route.
This is a beautiful function I haven’t seen anywhere else. You can enter the number or name of a particular train ("442", say, or "Poľana" - my favourite eastern escape train), upon which it shows that service, including its timetable, amenities and operator.
The closer to Czechia, the more detail, but it gets good results even in the near abroad.
This function is Czechia only. Enter a Czech station name and it shows you a map, a list of what there is at the station and how long it is open. Also which public transport lines stop at the station.
If travelling Czechia by rail this is a must have.
For domestic Czech services this is home turf for Můj vlak. However, Můj vlak can furnish you with lots of tickets into or out of the country. You can get all the way from Prague to Brussels or vice versa with Můj vlak.
In fact, Můj vlak makes it possible to reach some German destinations at a super promotional price. I have written a report about using Můj vlak and Czech Rail for genius ticket-splitting. Subscribe to my blog and I'll send you the report.
Můj vlak also gets you seat reservations - even for some trains outside Czechia. For instance, you can get seat reservations for any German train in Můj vlak… for €3 (79 CZK) instead of €4.50
Other nice functions
- The Share function. A brilliant feature I have seen only in Můj vlak. You take a train’s timetable - or an itinerary consisting of several trains - and share it. Be it by text message, DM, email... whatever. I use it often for giving air support to friends in need. Here is what that looks like:
EC 213 Mimara
Villach Hbf [*A] > Zagreb Glavni Kolod. [*HR]
Villach Hbf [*A]: 16:53
Faak am See [*A]: 17:06, 17:07
Jesenice(SL) [*SLO]: 17:33, 17:39
Lesce Bled [*SLO]: 17:50, 17:51
Kranj [*SLO]: 18:11, 18:12
Ljubljana [*SLO]: 18:33, 18:36
Zidani Most [*SLO]: 19:27, 19:29
Sevnica [*SLO]: 19:44, 19:45
Dobova [*SLO]: 20:07, 20:21
Zagreb Glavni Kolod. [*HR]: 20:51
Generated by the Můj vlak mobile application, http://www.cd.cz
- The offline timetables. Offline Timetables! Můj vlak allows you to download timetables for particular European countries and regions. This means Můj vlak can do connection searches even when you have no internet connection. It insists you download the package for Czechia, but after that, it is up to you what you save for offline use. This is a brilliant function. The only other app with this is the InterRail/Eurail Rail Planner. Only Můj vlak updates its timetables every few days, not every six months.
- Real time information. Works best in Czechia, but is quite good even beyond CZ. If you have a ticket in Můj vlak and need to change somewhere, a few minutes before your station it notifies you with...
- The puffing of a steam engine! The notification noise is the puffing of a steam engine! Isn’t that amazing?
Its use for the Eurail/Interrail Tourist
If you are in Czechia this app is a godsend for accurate, up-to-date timetable information and making seat reservations. The station function is also extremely useful.
The use of Můj vlak for the European Rail tourist is threefold:
- In Central Europe it provides great access to cheap tickets and reservations in an easy to use app
- It has a powerful search function and can find you connections almost all over Europe.
- It allows you to download timetables and have them offline. If you were on an Interrail tour, I’d sooner recommend you downloaded Můj vlak than InterRail’s own Rail Planner. InterRail’s Rail planner is a stock HAFAS app branded with InterRail. Old versions of DB Navigator and PKP’s Bilkom app are suspiciously similar.
Můj vlak in a Nutshell
Here are the main things Můj vlak has going for it. See below also for Můj vlak's peccadilloes.
Můj vlak is a supremely powerful and useful app. In Czechia it will be your special friend, in Germany it will be your dirty secret. Both are great to have.
If you are on an extended European tour by train, Můj vlak is the app I particularly recommend, due to its up-to-date offline timetables and powerful connection search function.
Subscribe to my blog for my report about Můj Vlak's added uses in Germany. Speaking of Germany, check out my post with two hacks that can slash your German rail fare.