Railways in Slovakia

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LouJ

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I have just returned from a visit to Bratislava in Slovakia. I was amazed at the amount of loco hauled trains at the main station (Hlavna Stanica in Slovakian). Traffic is in the hands of locos dating from the 1960s onwards. I had no problems with photography and railway stafff were friendly.

Bratislava is easily reached from the UK with Ryanair operating from quite a few local UK airports. There is a bus from the airport to the main station every 20 minutes and the journey takes around 20-25 minutes. Fare is about 60 pence. You can be on the station plaforms in under an hour from arriving at the airport!

Some ideas of what can be seen are shown in this gallery :-

http://www.world-railways.co.uk/gallery/gallery.php?id=234
 
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route101

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I have just returned from a visit to Bratislava in Slovakia. I was amazed at the amount of loco hauled trains at the main station (Hlavna Stanica in Slovakian). Traffic is in the hands of locos dating from the 1960s onwards. I had no problems with photography and railway stafff were friendly.

Bratislava is easily reached from the UK with Ryanair operating from quite a few local UK airports. There is a bus from the airport to the main station every 20 minutes and the journey takes around 20-25 minutes. Fare is about 60 pence. You can be on the station plaforms in under an hour from arriving at the airport!

Some ideas of what can be seen are shown in this gallery :-

http://www.world-railways.co.uk/gallery/gallery.php?id=234

Glad you enjoyed it . I went there in Feb 09 and took the eurocity train to Vienna and back . I flew Ryanair from Edinburgh and spent 2 nights in Bratislava and it was cold in snowy . Theres load of Loco hauls in Eastern Europe its great:D
 

Mark_Lester

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I do like these 240's with the wrap around windows. It's nickname is Laminátka, which basically means cute thing made of laminate.
We are including Bratislava in the trip, rather than doing the railjet straight to Budapest, so with luck we'll get pulled by one either from vienna or to budapest.
 

gordonthemoron

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I think the Vienna-Bratislava service is OBB which use fairly modern diesel locos. However I have a feeling that the Bratislava-Budapest EC services do use these locos
 

LouJ

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I think the Vienna-Bratislava service is OBB which use fairly modern diesel locos.

There are two services from Vienna to Bratislava. Both start from Sudbahnhof. The hourly service via Marchegg is hauled using class 2016 Hercules diesels. My gallery includes some pictures of these at Bratislava. This service terminates at Bratislava Hlavna.

There is also a less frequent service from Vienna Sudbahnhof via Kittsee which uses class 1116 Taurus electrics. This does not termintae at Bratislava Hlavna Stanica but uses Bratislava Petrzalka instead.
 

route101

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There are two services from Vienna to Bratislava. Both start from Sudbahnhof. The hourly service via Marchegg is hauled using class 2016 Hercules diesels. My gallery includes some pictures of these at Bratislava. This service terminates at Bratislava Hlavna.

There is also a less frequent service from Vienna Sudbahnhof via Kittsee which uses class 1116 Taurus electrics. This does not termintae at Bratislava Hlavna Stanica but uses Bratislava Petrzalka instead.

When i used the service via Kitsee it went onto Kosice , dont think thats the case now.
 

Mark_Lester

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There are two services from Vienna to Bratislava. Both start from Sudbahnhof. The hourly service via Marchegg is hauled using class 2016 Hercules diesels. My gallery includes some pictures of these at Bratislava. This service terminates at Bratislava Hlavna.

There is also a less frequent service from Vienna Sudbahnhof via Kittsee which uses class 1116 Taurus electrics. This does not termintae at Bratislava Hlavna Stanica but uses Bratislava Petrzalka instead.
thanks, we go via petrzalka, principally to force us to traverse the city.
 

Techniquest

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Interesting looking stuff, got to be worth a visit. I do however wonder one thing:

Is English understood much at all in Slovakia, and crucially which language phrasebook would be best to get?

*Heads off to look for flights to Bratislava*
 

lemonic

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Is English understood much at all in Slovakia, and crucially which language phrasebook would be best to get?

As with other Eastern European countries I would say that young people are generally likely to know English to a reasonable level, but older people may not know any English.
 

beermaddavep

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For anybody interested,

http://www.zelpage.cz/

lists by train all the expected locomotive/ stock/ MU formations of every train in Slovakia and the Czech republic as well their previous and next workings- handy stuff!

EC services from the Slovak border are shown as being mainly ZS350 hauled to Budapest, with one 362 working.

Ps Techniquest, although i've never visited Bratislava I have travelled around the Czech Republic (quite a bit) and and done some lines in Hungary.

The only problems with the local language were confined to obscure rural places and the odd elderly 'communist era' ticket lady but even then with a few basic words you can get by just fine.

Younger folk in general speak a bit of English, in the bigger towns those in pubs, hotels, stations etc often speak good English ( German and Russian too).

Try it, if you enjoy loco hauled, dirt cheap fares even in 1st, fine beer and hearty food you'll never look back :)
 

Oscar

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Agreed - German was exceptionally helpful (alongside English) when I was in Bratislava. Some people speak one language, some the other, some both and some neither. In tourist areas and with young people English should be fine but otherwise German may be a better bet. In Bratislava there are often signs in English (and sometimes German as well) but I doubt these exist in the rest of the country. I have a Slovak - German phrasebook and could type/scan in any key phrases needed (with English alongside).
Bratislava hl. st. is unfortunately looking fairly run down as do many of the trains which are covered in graffiti. Other than that it reminded me somewhat of a preserved diesel railway mainly due to the age of the rolling stock. I'd also recommend a trip on the historic (but slow) city trams.
 

Mark_Lester

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For anybody interested,

http://www.zelpage.cz/
crikey
http://poloha.vlaku.info/cs/mapa
it moves!.

I'll try fiddling about today to see if I can save these and get it to animate at super speed.

The line north west out of banska bystrica looks like a fun ride, ooh, look at these pics, and specifically this chap on the rails
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/52044124?source=wapi&referrer=kh.google.com

if you see one of them, take a photo by all means, but dont touch the bugger, they are quite poisonous, as in "potentially lethal".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_Salamander#Toxicity

And as everyone has said, you will have no problem bluffing your way through anywhere round there speaking English. it would be harder going to France without any French. But it might be an idea to get the phrase book and learn the pronunciation rules, which wont be easy, just so when you want to say "<PLACE NAME> ?? " meaning obviously where and when is the next train in that direction, you've got half a chance of them getting it.

EDIT: Seriously, Fire salamanders are actually quite common, I've got a pic of one in Bulgaria somewhere, but PLEASE, dont pick it up.
here you go, I'm no wildlife photographer so you're chance are obviously good, this was on a fairly busy road but in a very green area.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mc_lester/3992674326/in/set-72157622416782525
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
oh, my "crikey" link was to the dynamic "where are they now" map of trains on the move in slovakia, which for some reason has now vanished (404), :(.
 
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Techniquest

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Ps Techniquest, although i've never visited Bratislava I have travelled around the Czech Republic (quite a bit) and and done some lines in Hungary.

The only problems with the local language were confined to obscure rural places and the odd elderly 'communist era' ticket lady but even then with a few basic words you can get by just fine.

Younger folk in general speak a bit of English, in the bigger towns those in pubs, hotels, stations etc often speak good English ( German and Russian too).

Try it, if you enjoy loco hauled, dirt cheap fares even in 1st, fine beer and hearty food you'll never look back :)

Cheers, I'll give it some serious consideration and look into flights and such like soon. Could do with going somewhere new, looks like it would be an excellent adventure. Not looked at that link yet, however I'll have a quick look in a min.

johnnychips: 'Uber' is often used in modern parlance in place of 'super' :)
 

WestCoast

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I might be heading to Slovakia in Summer, but I am probably going to catch the EuroCity 175 (Hamburg - Berlin - Dresden - Prague - Brno - Bratislava - Budapest).
 
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