Railways in Slovakia are changed for broad gauges. But only partly. Construction of a new broad-railway (1520 mm) in the area from Kosice to Bratislava and then to Vienna will begin in 2013. The project is designed for 3 years. The first scheduled commercial traffic on the Kosice-Bratislava-Vienna road is planned as early as 2016.
The fact that the project will begin soon was announced at a meeting of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and First Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia, the Minister of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of Slovakia, Jan Figel, according to interfax.ru. The meeting was held in Moscow on February 22, 2011.
In the new project will participate one of the largest transport operators in Russia - RRW. Apart from the construction of the line, "Russian Railways" also intend to participate in the creation of large logistics centers in Slovakia. It is worth noting that the project of the new railway line was submitted by the head of "RRW" Vladimir Yakunin last year during his visit to Bratislava.
The new railway section Kosice-Bratislava-Vienna will be connected with the Transsiberian infrastructure. The broad gauge in the Slovak and Austrian territories will allow avoiding congestion at the junction of railways stations while delivering goods from Eastern Europe and Asia to EU countries. As it is known, the EU now uses different, narrower, standard of gauge.
The project of Kosice-Bratislava-Vienna road will shorten cargo delivery from Siberia and Asia and from Europe to Asia compared with the actively used sea route by half. In addition, will be significantly reduced overall transportation costs. All this should serve as an additional incentive for carriers.
Estimated project cost for construction of a new railway line Kosice-Bratislava-Vienna will be about 6.3 billion euros. This amount was sounded by the Slovak Deputy Prime Minister, Jan Figel, during his visit to Kiev on February 14, 2011. It is not excluded that, apart from Slovakia and Russia, Ukraine will also participate in the project.
Along with the new project Slovakia is auditing the entire railways infrastructure. So, in 2011 the country is expected to close several local railway lines.