Slovakian Transport Minister, Arpád Érsek, officially launched the modernised Považská Teplá – Žilina railway section as part of Bratislava – Žilina mainline. In 2020, when upgrading works will be completed, from Bratislava to Žilina trains will run with speeds of up to 160 km/h.
The modernisation works on the 23-km section began in 2014 and needed a EUR 120 million investment which was co-financed by the European Commission.
“Increasing speed and safety on the railway network is part of our strategy and we will gradually modernise it to reduce travel times. For us it is a key opportunity to use European funds for railway modernisation,” Érsek said, during the opening ceremony.
The whole section was modernised within two separate projects and received separate European financing. The first one, from Považská Teplá to Dolný Hričov received EU funds through the Operational Program Transport (OPD), and works on the second subsection, from Dolný Hričov to Žilina, received co-financing under the Operational Program Integrated Infrastructure (OPII).
The modernisation of the line included rebuilding works, the installation of modern technical and security systems, as well as ERTMS, which all improve the transport services. In addition, the railway stations on the line were modernised, elevated platforms and underpasses were constructed at five stations.