ZSSK trains.

SLOVAKIA: Government support of €96·5m which would enable national operator ZSSK to build three light maintenance workshops has been approved by the European Commission.

The workshops at Nové Zámky, Zvolen and Humenné would undertake routine work on passenger rolling stock including cleaning, refilling the water tanks and minor repairs.

Announcing its approval on August 23, the Commission said the state aid would contribute to objectives of common EU interest, in particular modal shift from road to rail, environmental protection and decongestion of roads.

Once the workshops have been built, ownership would be transferred to a separate company to be set up by the Ministry of Transport & Construction. The facilities would initially be operated by ZSSK, but the government has committed to ensuring non-discriminatory access for other operators, and they could be transferred to other companies should they win tendered train operating contracts.