New IC trains will be faster, with fewer stops

The state rail carrier ZSSK resumes running IC trains on the Bratislava-Košice route after 11 months.

ZSSK is resuming IC trains on the Bratislava-Košice route.ZSSK is resuming IC trains on the Bratislava-Košice route. (Source: SITA)

State-run carrier Železničná Spoločnosť Slovensko (ZSSK) will dispatch the first InterCity trains, after nearly a year, on the Bratislava-Košice route on the morning of December 11. Compared to the IC trains scrapped last January, the new trains will be faster by about 20 minutes thanks to fewer stops.

“IC trains were introduced on the Bratislava-Košice route as a fast connection between the two biggest cities of Slovakia,” recalled Desana Mertinková, railway transport expert and editor-in-chief of Železničná Doprava magazine, for the SITA newswire. She added that such a model is used around the world and that it is common in many countries that some trains have only two stops – the starting point and the final destination.

The Transport Ministry came to the conclusion to resume running IC trains operated by ZSSK on the Bratislava-Košice route after 11 months,  realizing that such a connection is missing from the Slovak market and there is demand for it. It believes that passengers will find shorter the travelling time attractive enough to ride IC trains and make them profitable.

“It will be one of the fastest trains from Bratislava to Košice,” Transport Minister Arpád Érsek (Most-Híd) told the October 4 press conference, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Érsek admitted that restoration of the IC train was also a political decision, while he considers the scrapping of IC trains was an incorrect decision.

Under five hours

Now passengers can choose on the Bratislava-Košice route to travel between express trains operated by ZSSK and trains operated by the private company RegioJet. It takes ZSSK five hours and 57 minutes to get from Bratislava to Košice. RegioJet makes it in about five hours and 10 minutes. The resumed IC trains will need about four hours and 45 minutes to travel from Bratislava to Košice. The scrapped IC trains took five hours and three minutes. Thus the new IC trains will be about 20 minutes faster.

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