On December 20, the Hospodárske noviny economic daily wrote that when Vladimír Mečiar's government raised the speeding limit from 110 to 130 km per hour ten years ago, cars became the fastest form of land transport in Slovakia. But this is about to change.
The Government has approved a plan for modernizing the country's rail tracks that would allow trains to travel at a maximum speed of 160 km per hour, rather than the current 120 km/h.
The first high-speed stretch will be between Bratislava and Piešťany (Trnava region), which should be ready at the beginning of 2009. This will be extended to Nové Mesto nad Váhom, and subsequently to Žilina by 2014-15. The Government has also approved a plan to renew the rolling stock with an investment of Sk10.4 billion (€308 million) in 2009-10, although nothing will be forthcoming in 2008.
"We've (already) got 150 carriages and 18 engines that are capable of traveling at 160 km per hour and are able to brake properly at that speed. Another hundred or so carriages can travel that fast, but don't have good enough brakes," said Slovak Railways spokesman Miloš Čikovský.
When the track between Bratislava and Žilina is ready, it should be possible for trains to cover the distance in an hour and a half. [This journey currently takes at least two and a half hours.] TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
21. Dec 2007 at 8:00