Slovakia’s passenger rail company Zeleznicna Spolocnost Slovensko (ZSSK) has been struggling with bad economics for years, and now the inevitable step of cutting off excess fat in its network and making redundancies can no longer be avoided.
The company has announced its plan to cancel up to 70 rail connections on eight separate lines, meaning many passengers in more remote areas, who are almost totally dependent on the railway for transport connections, will now have their lives complicated.
Another 150 rail connections on other lines also look set to be abolished, with the timetables of other connections also being reduced. The company issued a statement saying that the cancellation of lines should save some 1.6 kilometres of rail transport.
Around 200 of the 5,000-strong workforce of ZSSR will have their livelihood taken away, as the company also wants to axe some jobs. This comes in the wake of its sister company Cargo Slovakia announcing 400 layoffs in office positions from 1 April.
These and other measures are part of a shake-up of state-owned railways, which are facing the strong possibility of privatisation.