Slovenske železnice

Slovenske železnice

Slovenske železnice (SŽ) (Slovenian Railways) is the state railway of Slovenia, created in 1991 from the Ljubljana division of the former Jugoslovenske železnice (Yugoslav Railways) after the breakup of Yugoslavia.

History

Slovenia (then part of Austria) received its first railway connection in 1840s, when the Austrian Empire built a railway connection - Südliche Staatsbahn or Austrian Southern Railway - between its capital, Vienna, and its major commercial port, Trieste. Thus, Maribor was connected by railway to Graz in 1844. The stretch was extended via Pragersko to Celje in 1846, and further via Zidani most to Ljubljana in 1849. A double-track line was continued via Postojna, Pivka, and Divača, finally reaching Trieste in 1857.

Before World War I, numerous other railways were built. In 1860, Pragersko was connected to Ormož and further to Čakovec, Croatia, thus connecting the Austrian and the Hungarian part of the empire. In 1862, a single-track railway (expanded into double-track in 1944) along the Sava river was built, connecting Zidani most with Zagreb. In 1863, the "Carinthian railway" was built along the Drava river, connecting Maribor with Dravograd, Klagenfurt and Villach. In 1870, railway along the upper Sava river valley was built, connecting Ljubljana with Kranj, Jesenice and Tarvisio, Italy. In 1873, a line from Pivka via Ilirska Bistrica connected Rijeka, then the most important commercial port in the Hungarian part of the empire. In 1876, a line from Divača connected Pula, the Austrian naval base, via Prešnica. In 1906, Bohinj Railway was built, connecting Villach with Jesenice, along the Soča river valley to Gorizia and further to Trieste, with two over-6000 meter tunnels.

Few lines were opened after World War I. One of them is connecting Ormož with Ljutomer and Murska Sobota, opened in 1924. After World War II, a single-track electrified line connecting Prešnica to Koper was built in 1976. In 1999, a single-track line between Murska Sobota and Hodoš was rebuilt, offering a direct connection with the Hungarian railway system. The line was originally built in 1907 and closed down in 1968 among numerous other tracks closed down during 1960s.

System

Slovenian Railways operates 1,229 km of standard gauge tracks, 331 km as double track, and reaches all regions of the country. It is remarkably well connected to all surrounding countries reflecting the fact that Slovenia used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and later of Yugoslavia.

Electrification is provided by a 3KV DC system and covers about 503 km. The remainder of the former Yugoslavian railroads that have been electrified operate with 25 KV AC system, thus trains to Zagreb switch engines at Dobova until dual system engines will be available.

Crossroad of Pan-European corridors

Ljubljana is at the heart of the SŽ system. Here, the Pan-European corridors V and X intersect. These transportation corridors are being established to tie larger segments of Europe economically together: Corridor V links Venice-Trieste/Koper-Ljubljana-Maribor-Budapest-Kiev, while Corridor X connects Salzburg-Ljubljana-Zagreb-Belgrade-Thessalonica. The freight system to Koper, a modern and growing port east of Trieste, represents the shortest connection to the Mediterranian for a large portion of the hinterland of Central and Eastern Europe.

Passenger trains

Passenger trains of the SŽ use InterCity and EuroCity as well as regional and local trains. The InterCity Slovenia (ICS) connects Koper, Ljubljana and Maribor.

A noted train of the SŽ is the Casanova linking Ljubljana to Venice in a 4-hour ride.

External links

See also

Slovenian Railway Museum

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