As of February, state-run IC trains will be able to fully replace the trains operated by private carrier RegioJet that is leaving the main route between Bratislava and Košice.
“I want to announce that the company RegioJet is giving up the train routes in favour of Železnice Slovenskej Republiky,” reads a statement sent to the state carrier on January 17, as quoted by the Sme daily.
The decision came after an earlier dispute between the two companies. State-run ZSSK claimed that RegioJet had refused to clear the track, which could endanger the replacement of the yellow trains with state IC trains.
“The private carrier wants to make passengers hostages,” Transport Minister Árpád Érsek (Most-Híd) said on January 16, as quoted by Sme, adding they would do anything to secure enough space for passengers who used to travel with RegioJet trains.
ZSSK head Filip Hlubocký explained to Sme that it is much more difficult to prepare a new timetable then to replace the trains on the original tracks.
The private carrier currently operates three pairs of trains on the Bratislava-Košice route. They depart from the Slovak capital at 5:33, 11:33 and 17:33, while in the opposite direction they leave at 5:16, 11:16 and 17:16.
RegioJet wants to keep the last pair on the Vrútky-Košice track as it wants to use it as part of its link between Košice and Prague, Sme wrote.
ZSSK, however, considers such a request problematic, saying that it “complicates the situation” and makes the whole operation of the trains and stations more difficult.
18. Jan 2017 at 13:26 | Compiled by Spectator staff