Rare historical train rides in central Slovakia will return in summer

Different rides and trains on offer.

(Source: zahoramizadolami.sk)

The interest in taking a ride on historical trains in the Banská Bystrica Region (BBSK) is growing every year. The region comes up with attractive novelties every season. The same goes for this year.

Dates for the rides on the Zbojnícky and Horehronský Express trains have already been announced.

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The Zbojnícky should leave for the Rimavská Sobota – Tisovec – Zbojská route on June 3 and August 19. Passengers will enjoy travelling on the Horehronský Express on July 14 and August 11, according to the website of the Zubačka civic association.

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"This year, our historic rackrail trains will be powered by a motor locomotive, as our steam locomotive undergoes scheduled maintenance this year," the association announced.

The Banská Bystrica Tourism Region organisation offers many unique experiences under the Experience Trains (Zážitkové Vlaky) brand.

"Iron" will join the fleet

The organisation is planning unique rides on historical trains this year, also announcing a novelty for this year.

"In the Experience Train 2023 season, another colleague will join the trains - the S548 electric car, alias Žehlička," the organisation announced through social media. Žehlička means iron in Slovak.

The organisation adds that the oldest of the nostalgic trains is the Modrý Šíp (Blue Arrow) M274. It will be 89 years old this year, made in 1934.

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"The other motor trains - Singrovka M240, Okuliarnik (Eyeglass Wearer) T478, Pomaranč (Orange) T679, Dvašesťdvojka M262 and M286 have served many honest kilometres. They originate from the 1940s to the 1970s."

Likewise, the Za Horami, Za Dolami Express, known to many as the Central Slovak Orient Express, will show up on the route this year.

Last year's numbers also confirm the growing popularity of trips on historical trains.

"They transported 2,120 passengers and together rode 3,257 kilometres," said Eva Macuľová, manager of the Experience Trains brand, at the end of 2022.

She added that the Horehronský Express set out on the track three times last year. Once they dispatched the so-called Horehronský Express special.

"The Zbojnícky Express and Express 34 tunnels each had four journeys. Banícky (Mining) Express connected the towns of Kremnica and Banská Štiavnica in one trip. This season's novelty was a Sklársky (Glass-making) Express ride, one Novohradský (named after the Novohrad tourism region) Express ride and, at the end, a treat in the form of the Za Horami, Za Dolami Express. There was enormous interest in the three-day experience," commented Macuľová.

Orient Express

In the case of the unusual Za Horami, Za Dolami Expresss attraction, which Slovaks in central Slovakia gave the working name of Orient Express, it was a unique project. The tickets sold out in a few days.

The Central Slovakia (Stredné Slovensko) regional tourism organisation and the Banská Bystrica Tourism Region organisation participated in its creation.

They would like to repeat it this season.

"It was the culmination of the train season in the Banská Bystrica Region and I'm very happy that we managed to carry out this demanding project, unique in Slovak conditions. Dining, having fun and sleeping right on the train, while also enjoying a rich programme in selected cities throughout the region, was a powerful experience not only for the guests, but also for us," said Jiří Pěč, executive director of the Central Slovakia tourism organisation.

He recalled that the ride lasted three days, during which the train covered more than 600 kilometres. The original trip, which started on September 1 in Banská Bystrica, was enjoyed by 47 people.

©My Novohrad

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