ON JULY 23 the European Investment Bank confirmed the award of a 200m euros credit for Slovak Republic Railways. To be guaranteed by the Slovak government, the money will help to fund five major investment projects drawn up by ZSR General Director Andrej Egyed (RG 7.99 p459).
Around 120m euros will be spent this year and the rest in 2000. Included in the package are 35 new passenger coaches, modernisation of 180 freight wagons, and the upgrading of the ZSR telecommunications network. The Cadca - Skalice line will be electrified, and the Bratislava - Trnava route upgraded for 160 km/h operation.
In the longer term, the government is looking to cut its support for ZSR from KS5·8bn to KS1·7bn by 2007. This is expected to result in the closure of 32 unprofitable lines and a reduction in staff numbers from 48500 to 30000.
- ZSR and PKP have restored passenger services on the eastern cross-border link between Medzilaborce and Lupkow, which was reopened to freight in 1997. One daily train each way links Sanok to Medzilaborce and another connects Sanok and Humenne.