SLOVAKIA and Austria signed a partnership agreement in early June to prepare the Twin City Rail project. The agreement means that the two countries will prepare project documentation to construct an electrified rail connection between Vienna and Bratislava, via Marchegg, with additional integrated transport stops. Construction is planned to start within two years, the TASR newswire wrote.

“Twin City Bratislava-Vienna is becoming a reality thanks to interconnection of these two cities by electrified rail,” said Ján Figeľ, the Slovak transport minister, after signing the agreement.

The leading partner in the project, which is part of the Programme of Cross-Border Cooperation between Slovakia and Austria, 2007-2013, is the Austrian railway company ÖBB-Infrastruktur. There are three Slovak partners – the Transport Ministry and the ŽSR and ZSSK railway companies.

The project documentation, needed before any construction can start, will cost €9.25 million and the Slovak partners will contribute less than €600,000, with as much as 85 percent of Slovakia’s costs being covered from the European Regional Development Fund. Total costs to build the electrified and partially double-track rail between Bratislava and Vienna are expected to exceed €200 million.