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Railways of the Slovak Republic

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Železnice Slovenskej republiky
Typestate-owned enterprise
HeadquartersBratislava, Slovakia
Key people
Ing. Štefan Hlinka (CEO) and Mgr. Juraj Mravčák (Chairman of Board of Directors)
Productsnetwork infrastructure services
Total assets
Number of employees
  • Increase 13,716 (2019)[1]
  • Decrease 13,665 (2018)[2]
  • Decrease 13,781 (2017)[3]
Čadca railway station
Čadca railway station

Railways of the Slovak Republic (Slovak: Železnice Slovenskej republiky, acronym: ŽSR) is the state-owned railway infrastructure company of Slovakia.

The company was established in 1993 as the successor to the Czechoslovak State Railways (Slovak: Česko-slovenské štátne dráhy) in Slovakia following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. It had a formal monopoly on railroad transportation in Slovakia until 1996, and while other rail transport companies have since been allowed to operate in the country – for example, RegioJet, a private provider, has been operating passenger rail lines since 2012[4] – , it has retained a de facto monopoly.

In 2002, the Slovak parliament passed a law dividing the company. ŽSR was tasked with infrastructure maintenance, while passenger and freight transport was moved to Železničná spoločnosť. In 2005, this new company was further split into Železničná spoločnosť Slovensko,[5] which provides passenger services, and Železničná spoločnosť Cargo Slovakia,[6] which provides freight services.

ŽSR provides transportation and services that correspond to the interests of state transport policy and market requirements, including related activities.[7]


Railway has become an important prerequisite for economic and social development of the country. In 1837 the construction of the first European Railway Highway started. Its construction became a potential threat to market of agricultural goods and timber from western Slovakia. Therefore, a company was founded to build a horse railway that would link the five royal cities between Bratislava and Trnava. The service was providing until the first half of the 19th century. At beginning, the construction of the railway was in the hands of the state. Later, in year 1854, the state entrusted railway building to private entrepreneurs.[8]


The intensity of construction changed after settlement in 1867. Ministry of Transport and Public Works was established. Its main objective was construction of transport communications independent of Austria. In Slovakia this meant extensive construction of railways.

In the period between 1867 and 1873 a number of major railways were built:

  • Košice – Žilina – Bohumín
  • Pešť – Fiľakovo – Lučenec – Zvolen – Vrútky
  • Michaľany – Humenné – Medzilaborce – Lupkov – Przemysl
  • Košice – Michaľany – Slovenské Nové Mesto – Čop
  • Bratislava – Trenčín
  • Prešov – Orlov – Tarnov
  • Fiľakovo – Plešivec – Dobšiná, Jesenské – Tisovec

Hungary tried to use private capital for railway construction. The lack of funds threatened the construction of railways and Hungary started in 1868 to build railways on its own.

The railway construction was accompanied by a series of scandals and corruption affairs among aristocracy, politicians and businessmen. In spite of this fact, the basis of the railway network was set up in relatively short time.


Bankruptcy of the Vienna stock exchange was the beginning of an economic crisis affecting the economy of the monarchy throughout the first half of the 70th of the 19th century. Changing economic circumstances was reflected on the further construction of railways. During this period, the country was aware of the strategic importance of railway transportation for economy and policy.

The state responded to the situation with a number of actions: stopped the construction of expensive railways and created legal conditions for the construction of local railways.


After the formation of Czechoslovakia, the most important task was to maintain and run the rail network defined by the new boundaries. Two divisions, which were set up in the cities Košice and Bratislava, were responsible for the network managing. Slovakia inherited rail network that was insufficient for the new state requirements.

The only one efficient line was Košice-Bohumín. The state therefore decided to take over the operation of all private railways and extend the rail lines. The pressure of competition from the road freight transport stimulated further developments. The speed of freight trains was increased up to 70 km/h by applying continuous braking. Significant progress in passenger traffic was achieved by motorization of local railways.


Photograph of a restored train car, with its sliding door open, used to transport Slovak Jews
Restored train car used to transport Slovak Jews. SŽ stands for Slovenské Železnice (Slovak Railways).

On 3 March 1939 the Slovak State was established. However, it was dependent on Germany. The war caused high intensity of freight transport. The key role was played by export of raw materials, agricultural and food products. Passenger transport was characterized by extensive seasonal movements of agricultural and industrial workers from Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and Russia travelling to the Germany.


After the World War II, Czechoslovakia was renewed. The first task needed to be solved was the reconstruction of the rail network. In the 1948, the regime of communism began. All private railways were nationalized. The overloaded line Čierna nad Tisou – Košice Žilina – Bohumín was the drive to extend the rail network on the South of Slovakia. At the same time, the electrification of railways was carried out.

The new constitution in 1960 defined Czechoslovakia as a socialist state. Rail transport was marked on Joseph Stalin's conception of "iron and steel". There was strong emphasis on transport of raw materials, building materials, fuels and food.

Industrialization had a significant impact on the growth of passenger transport—people traveled to work and school over large distances. The growth in intensity caused imbalance between demand and technical capabilities. The situation became relaxed during the 1970s due to the development of individual car transport and the intensity of rail transport started declining.

From 1993

On 1 January 1993 Slovak Republic became independent. At the same time, the Railways of Slovak Republic were established. The bad initial situation requested measures to execute consolidation as quick as possible. The most important was to create conditions for privatization and to optimize rail activity for business requirements. The strategic objective was to provide access to European Union trade market and capitalize on convenient territory of Slovak Republic and its touristic attractiveness.


The governing bodies of ŽSR are the Management Board and General Director.

Management board of ŽSR

The Management Board is the top body of the railways. It has nine members—six members of them are experts from the transport sector, finance, banking, economics and law, three are elected for representatives of the railway employees. Board members are appointed and dismissed by the Minister of Transport, Posts and Telecommunications of the Slovak Republic, three of them are appointed and dismissed by the proposal based on the election of the employees.

Office of the Management Board of ŽSR provides administrative and technical operations. General inspection SR ŽSR performs inspection and control of organizational units of ŽSR and provides tasks associated with improving of the management system and compliance with legislative regulation, monitors implementation of decisions of ŽSR and gives suggestions for their implementation.

General director

The general director manages the activities of ŽSR and is responsible for its performance and the results to the Management Board. The general director is a statutory body of ŽSR. He represents the company externally and is acting on its behalf in all matters with except of the matters that are in the exclusive competence of the Management Board or the Ministry of Transport, Posts and Telecommunications.

The general director is represented by four agents responsible for specific departments of ŽSR. The general director is appointed and dismissed by the Minister of Transport, Posts and Telecommunications.

Deputies of General Director

The general director manages the Department of Director General and has four deputies who are in charge of handling the activity in other departments. Sections and branches associated to the departments are subject to deputy.

Organizational structure

Railways of Slovak Republic is further divided into Headquarters and Management and maintenance of railway infrastructure.


Departments of Director General:

  • Department of Deputy Director General for Development and IT
  • Department of Deputy Director General for Economy
  • Department of Deputy Director General for Operation
  • Department of Deputy Director General for Human Resources

All departments are located in the capital city, Bratislava.

Management and maintenance of railway infrastructure

Management of railway infrastructure

This section has two local departments. The first one is situated on the West of Slovak Republic in Trnava and the second location is on the East of Slovak Republic in Košice.

Maintenance of railway infrastructure

Maintenance of railway infrastructure is divided into two regional headquarters and two divisions.

  • Regional Headquarters in the locality of Zvolen
  • Regional Headquarters in the locality of Žilina
  • Bridge Division in Košice
  • Bridge Division in Bratislava

Representation abroad

Railways of Slovak Republic are represented in international organizations in Brussels, Belgium and Warszawa, Poland.

  • CER - Community of European Railway; Brussels, Belgium
  • OSJD – Organization for Cooperation of Railways; Warszawa, Poland

Passenger transport

Detailed information about pricing are published on the websites of individual companies providing passenger transport:

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Výročná Správa 2019 [2019 Annual Report] (PDF) (Report) (in Slovak). Bratislava, Slovakia: Railways of the Slovak Republic. 20 March 2020. pp. 22, 25. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Výročná správa 2018 (2018 Annual Report) (PDF) (Report) (in Slovak). Bratislava: Railways of the Slovak Republic. 8 March 2019. pp. 41–42. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Výročná správa 2017 (2017 Annual Report) (PDF) (Report) (in Slovak). Bratislava: Railways of the Slovak Republic. 3 March 2017. pp. 15–17. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  4. ^ "RegioJet investoval 60 tisíc EUR do modernizace zastávek na trati Bratislava – Dunajská Streda". Student Agency. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  5. ^ a b Slovak rail ZSSK Archived 2007-10-08 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ ZSSK Cargo
  7. ^ Annual report 2008
  8. ^ © ŽSR - Železničné telekomunikácie na základe publikácie: Dejiny železníc na území Slovenska, Ing. Jiří Kubáček CSc History of railways of Slovak Republic


External links

This page was last edited on 11 February 2021, at 17:39
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