IN SHORT

Officials wary of future train safety

NEARLY 50 percent of Slovak trains are more than 20 years old, and railway officials warn that if new trains are not bought, many cars will soon be unsafe for passengers.

Head of the Railways Employees' Union, Jozef Schmidt, said to the Slovak daily SME on September 3 that the "trains are old and if they are not repared the cars will soon not pass technical controls for safety".

He added, however, that "so far trains are safe".

A number of Slovak trains, especially passenger trains, which are between 20 and 30 years old, are in bad condition and are nearing their retirement age.

According to top railway representatives the process of renewal in the company's car park had already started in 1996, but due to lacking finances, only a few dozen new cars per year could be purchased.

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