Three pairs of InterCity (IC 520 – 525) trains are returning to the main domestic railway route of Bratislava – Žilina – Košice after the long pandemic break.
Together with already riding two InterCity trains (to Bratislava and back), there will be eight of the fastest train connection in Slovakia operated by the national carrier ZSSK.
The IC 44 and 45 trains will return to the tracks on December 12, 2021, when the new train schedule becomes effective, while the trains IC 520 – 525 will return on February 27, 2022 at the soonest.
“The fastest train, the IC 44, can travel between Košice and Bratislava in four hours and 43 minutes; other InterCity trains will make this route in four hours and 57 minutes,” said Tomáš Kováč, spokesperson for ZSSK, as quoted by the SITA newswire.
“The IC 44 and IC 45 will travel from Košice to Vienna, which will also stop at the Bratislava-Nové Mesto and Bratislava-Petržalka stations,” Kováč said.
Fast trains affected by works on track
There will be also fourteen fast trains riding the northern route between Bratislava and Košice. These trains will run 160 kilometres per hour over the reconstructed parts of the route and the time between the capital and the second largest city in Slovakia is five hours and 50 minutes.
“Traffic interruption work on the Púchov - Považská Bystrica section, the reconstruction of the Žilina junction and work on the Poprad-Tatry - Svit section will have a negative impact on long-distance trains in the 2021/2022 train schedule,” Kováč said.
The completion of closures is preliminarily planned for the Púchov - Považská Bystrica section on May 31, 2022, on the Poprad - Svit section by the end of 2022 and the Žilina junction in 2024.
Slovak experts advising the Health Ministry also recently proposed that only travellers with confirmation of vaccination, recovery or negative test should be allowed on public transport. This would include travel by trains. The government will have to approve the measure first.