“Our goal is to organise a tender for this express line in the course of this year,” spokesman of the Transport, Construction and Regional Development Ministry Martin Kóňa told the TASR newswire. He added, however, that the ministry is now only beginning and the whole liberalisation process is being launched and the conditions are being defined. Thus, he refused to elaborate more details on the project.
A private carrier would operate the route with a state subsidy, which would make it the second such route in Slovakia; RegioJet currently operates trains between Bratislava and Komárno on a similar principle.
The state has chosen the route from the capital to Banská Bystrica, as it is a continuous line that has sufficient capacity of train power output, i.e. about 1.3 million train-kilometres. Thus, it is large enough, with an independent set of trains, and can be operated with a lower risk of failure. Currently, eight duo express trains ride on the track.
“The inclusion of two couples of extra-trains – which currently operate on the track, too – in the tender is being considered,” Kóňa said, adding that the state-owned Železničná Spoločnosť Slovensko (ZSSR) that now operates the track willmost probably bid on the tender.
“ZSSK is essentially interested in participation in tenders for express lines, but the final decision will always be connected with specific conditions of the competition, ZSSK spokeswoman Jana Morháčová told TASR.
Several railway carriers have shown interest in this tender, according to the Hospodárske noviny daily, such as Arriva Slovensko, RegioJet and LEO Express.
10. Apr 2015 at 6:30 | Compiled by Spectator staff