Rail transport in Slovakia

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The ŽSR railway network.
A train of Railways of the Slovak Republic

Rail transport in Slovakia began on 21 September 1840, with the opening of the first horse-powered line from Bratislava to Svätý Jur (at that time in Kingdom of Hungary). The first steam-powered line, from Bratislava to Vienna, opened on 20 August 1848.

The modern Železnice Slovenskej republiky company was established in 1993 as a successor of the Československé státní drahy in Slovakia. Until 1996 it had formal monopoly on railroad transportation in the country, which remained a de facto monopoly until the advent of private operators entering the network in the early 2010s. Private passenger service operators include RegioJet, which operate trains between Prague (Czech Republic) and Košice, Žilina and Košice, Žilina and Bratislava and on the Komárno - Dunajská Streda - Bratislava route.[1] There are plans to win more tenders in Slovakia.[2]

Since 2002 a law divided the company: ŽSR was left with infrastructure maintenance and passenger and cargo transport was moved into company "Železničná spoločnosť, a. s." (ZSSK). In 2005 this new company was further split into "Železničná spoločnosť Slovensko, a. s." (ZSSK)[3] providing Passenger transport services and "Železničná spoločnosť Cargo Slovakia, a. s." (ZSSK Cargo)[4] providing cargo services. Freight transport is operated by ZSCS and around 30 private companies.

Slovakia is a member of the International Union of Railways (UIC). The UIC Country Code for Slovakia is 56.


A train of RegioJet


Data taken from Year bulletin of ŽSR 2006 (in Slovak)

  • Total length of lines: 3,658 km (2,273 mi)
  • 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) broad gauge: 99 km (62 mi)
  • 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge: 3,509 km (2,180 mi)
  • Narrow gauge: 50 km (31 mi)
    • 45 km (28 mi) of 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge; 5 km (3.1 mi) of 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) gauge)
  • Electrified: 1,577 km (980 mi)

As of December 31, 2010

Rail links to adjacent countries[edit]

  • Same gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
  • Break-of-gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)/1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in)

See also[edit]