STA, 14 January 2021 - The national railway operator Slovenske Železnice (SŽ) has welcomed ten new double-decker trains to its fleet. Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec and SŽ director Dušan Mes took a symbolic first ride to Litija on Friday, agreeing that the new trains will make railway transport more appealing. More train purchases are planned.
"If we want to make railway passenger transport more appealing we need to modernise the railway infrastructure and purchase new trains that make the ride more comfortable for passengers.
"We have ten such new trains that can reach speeds of up to 160 kilometres an hour, which is very good for Slovenian railway infrastructure," said the minister during the symbolic first ride on a new train.
The new trains offer comfort, internet connection and can be a "true office for someone going from one city to another".
The Infrastructure Ministry is very happy with the process of purchasing the new trains and Vrtovec said more train purchases were planned. "I promise that we will start ordering new train compositions in this term to make railway transport even more appealing to people," he said.
The minister pointed to the environmental aspect of expanding the SŽ fleet, saying it should reduce pressure of cars on city centres.
Mes said SŽ had so far welcomed 29 trains - ten double deckers, 13 electric trains and six diesel trains. "By the end of next year, 52 trains from the first two orders are to arrive, and sometime by the end of February or mid-March we will prepare a new call for applications for another 20 trains," he said.
The SŽ fleet is to have 72 new trains by the end of next year or beginning of 2024 in total value of half a billion euro, Mes said.
This will be a huge transformation of the fleet, which will need to be further upgraded, he said. "Passengers deserve trains that are 15-20 years old for the most part, not like today when some were 40 years old."