Railway track modernised to improve safety, speed and accessibility

More than half a million people are to benefit from railway improvements in western Slovakia, the sixth stage of a project to upgrade the entire line between Bratislava and Žilina.

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A section of a key railway line linking Bratislava and Žilina is being given an extensive upgrade to make train journeys faster and safer, thus improving transport services for the 600 000 residents of the region.

The work on the almost 9 km-long section between Beluša and Púchov, in the Slovak region of Trenčín, includes modernising the railway's sub- and super-structure so that trains can travel at up to 160 km/h. This cuts passenger journey times by almost four minutes, and freight journeys by about two minutes.

The project also involves upgrading the interlocking system and safety devices. In particular, a new electronic interlocking system – a signalling system that prevents conflicting journeys on the tracks – will be installed at Púchov station, with the possibility of remote-control.

Moreover, the track section being improved is part of a priority European transport route, the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) core corridor. Earlier stages of the project have seen other sections of the line being upgraded.

Improving accessibility

As well as work to boost the speed and safety of train journeys on the Beluša - Púchov section, accessibility improvements are also being made. A new train station is being built at Beluša, with disabled access and a passenger subway with barrier-free access. Three level crossings are also being replaced with road bridges over the railway line, and three new pedestrian subways are being built.

The 600 000 residents of Trenčín and international travellers on this line are set to benefit from this scheme. The track passes through Púchov district, where 46 000 people live. 31 jobs are being created during the project's implementation.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “ŽSR Modernisation of the Railway Track Nové Mesto nad Váhom – Púchov, rkm 100.500 – 159.100 for a Track Speed up to 160 km/h. – Stage VI (Beluša- Púchov Section)” is EUR 144 177 958, of which the EU’s Cohesion Fund is contributing EUR 84 318 684 through the EU Regional Policy Programme “Transport” for the programming period 2007-2013, under priority axis “Railway infrastructure.”

Draft date