Getting local tourism back on track with a historical railway link

The revival of a historical and scenic mountain railway link between the Czech Republic and Slovakia is revealing this beautiful corner of Europe to and attracting summer tourists, train enthusiasts and local history buffs.

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Re-establishing an historic and scenic railway link between the Czech Republic and Slovakia. © Ministry of Agriculture and rural Development of the Slovak Republic Re-establishing an historic and scenic railway link between the Czech Republic and Slovakia. © Ministry of Agriculture and rural Development of the Slovak Republic

" This project has contributed towards the economic development of the border region by encouraging rural tourism, biking and even wine tours. The revived transport link has also helped to promote and provide access to cultural events in the region, and has placed great importance on increasing publicity and communication. All this has helped to raise awareness of the role that rail transport has played in this region. "

Denisa Bernatova, Project Manager from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic

Through the development of transport infrastructure and improved accessibility, this scheme is reintroducing and facilitating summer rides on historical trains through the cross-border region. A concerted effort has begun to highlight the region’s potential as a tourist destination.

Enjoy the scenery!

The main draw of the refurbished railway line is its unique geographical location. The track links the picturesque region of Moravia Horňácko in the Czech Republic with the Myjavska upland and the Považský Inovec mountain range in western Slovakia.

The line includes 61 bridges and viaducts with dramatic views across the countryside, and passes old station buildings that retain elements of traditional Slovakian folk architecture. All this has now been made accessible to locals and tourists alike.

Reviving historical links

The mountain railway between Veseli nad Moravou in the Czech Republic and Myjava in Slovakia was once one the most important routes for both passenger and freight traffic in the former Czechoslovakia. After the country split in two in 1993, however, cross-border travel reduced significantly, with freight transport all but extinguished.

Another challenge to boosting tourism has been the fact that the region is not easily accessible or known. Given that the region’s natural beauty and cultural attractions have not been heavily promoted or publicised, means that few tourists have ventured to this corner of the Czech-Slovak border.

A bridge to the future

Reviving the railway link has been an important part of a sustained effort to boost local tourism in the border region and to improve cross-border mobility.

The project also aims to make rail travel more attractive as a viable and enjoyable mode of transport. Efforts have been made not only to highlight the role that trains have played in the past, but also to demonstrate that they have an important role to play in the region’s economic future.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Increasing the attractiveness of borderland with a historical train” is EUR 211 808, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 177 893 from the Operational Programme “Slovak Republic – Czech Republic” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

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