A CONSORTIUM of Bratislava-based contractors Dopravoprojekt and Infraprojekt has been appointed by Railways of the Slovak Republic to draw up a KS940m detailed feasibility study for three major investment projects in the capital. Construction bids will be invited shortly for the ambitious 2007-15 expansion programme, which includes upgrading and electrification of a cross-border line to Austria, a connection between the city’s three stations, and a link to the airport. The EU’s TEN-T programme will meet half the cost, with the remainder from the state budget. Work is to begin this year on the upgrading of the 2?4 km line from Dev?nska Nov? Ves to the Austrian border at Marchegg, with electrification at ?BB’s 15?kV 16 2/3 Hz to be undertaken in conjunction with Austria’s energisation of the G?nserndorf - Marchegg section of the route between the capitals. The ambitious second phase of the project proposes a 5?6?km bored tunnel up to 20?m deep running under the Danube to provide a cross-city link between Bratislava’s Predmestie, Fili?lka and Petrzalka stations. To be built in 2010-15, this would form part of a through Bratislava - Wien fast route as well as being the heart of a proposed S-Bahn, relieving the existing winding single-track line from Petrzalka to Nov? Mesto. The final part of the investment programme is a 1?5?km spur from the Bratislava Nov? Mesto - Bratislava ?NS line to serve M R Stef?nik Airport, where a major modernisation programme is due to begin this year to cope with an anticipated doubling of passengers by 2012. Intended as the final section of a fast rail link from Wien International Airport at Schwechat, the new spur will be built under a 10-year BOT contract in the period 2010-15. An additional 7?6?km of double track will be installed between Bratislava Hlavn? stanica and Nov? Mesto, and from Bratislava Petrzalka to ?BB’s Kittsee station. n