The European Commission has given the red light to funding for the broad-gauge railway line that has been in the planning for year and which should pass through Slovakia to Austria, facilitating the transport of goods all the way from east Russia, where broad-gauge lines are used.
According to an article in SME today, the European Commission has informed the Slovak Republic that the EU would not be supporting the broad-gauge line as it wants to focus funding on developing the standard narrow-gauge lines in Europe, said regional policy spokesman for the Commission, Ton van Lierop.
The completion of the broad-gauge railway was to be one of Robert Fico’s government’s showcases, with the plan to complete it being one of the priorities announced shortly after his party took power in the March elections. Now the Ministry of Transport, run by Jan Pociatek, will have to seek the funding from somewhere else, most likely in the form of private financing, but the project might not provide enough of a return and so might stay where it has been for years, on the shelf.
Don’t really agree with you. Poland and Slovakia both have broad gauge, as all other CIS countries. I think it would be in EU’s interest to connect with Central Asia, central Russia and the far east. Most of the goods would be travelling eastwards, as Russia actually sells nothing but oil and gas. Transfer for BG to SG is not a problem currently, with the technology available.
The adoption of broad gauge railways by the Russians is clearly their problem, why should special provision be made for their trains. If they want to sell goods in Europe then it is them who should adapt. Building a BG line to Austria is no solution, the good will still have to be transferred to standard gauge rolling stock or lorries so why not do it in Russia or the Ukraine. Another barmy, illogical idea no doubt intended to expose EU funding to misuse and misappropriation.