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On the Track to a Better Railway: the Slovak Movement 'Na železnicu' Addresses Politicians and Fights for Transport Changes

On the Track to a Better Railway: the Slovak Movement 'Na železnicu' Addresses Politicians and Fights for Transport Changes
photo: Pixabay/On the Track to a Better Railway: the Slovak Movement 'Na železnicu' Addresses Politicians and Fights for Transport Changes
23 / 08 / 2023

The Slovak Railway Movement 'Na železnicu' has started to actively address politicians with questions about their involvement of the railway in their election and post-election programs. According to their Facebook page, they have actively reached out to all political parties with a questionnaire. They plan to publish the responses over time.

The Slovak Railway Movement Na železnicu has decided to contact all political parties with questions about the role railways played in their election programs. The movement, founded by Darina Željazkova, aims to draw attention to the current situation of railways in Slovakia. It seeks to improve the transport situation, which they say is in a very neglected state. The movement's main objective is to prevent traffic collapses by increasing the share of traffic shifted from roads and motorways to railways.

It has set nine targets for the railways that it would like to achieve. These include increasing investment in transport infrastructure, support for individual freight services, stable and predictable rail route prices, and more. The result should be to shift at least 30% of freight traffic to rail. The lack of interest of political actors in the problems of the transport sector is also mentioned as an issue.

"Railways in Slovakia, and transport in general, has long been a forgotten sector. However, during this year's elections, this topic has become relevant. Nevertheless, we do not want it to be forgotten. We have therefore decided to contact political parties to ask if they plan to address rail in their election programs. We want long-term sustainable support for railways in Slovakia," commented Darina Željazková, founder of the movement, exclusively for RAILTARGET. "We are happy to say we have already had several positive responses. As soon as there are more, we will start publishing them gradually," she added.

The questionnaire contains eight questions focusing on the transport sector, emphasizing railways. Thanks to the answers, we will soon know whether the parties plan to continue to increase the allocation for railways, whether they agree with the new timetable, and whether they support increasing the share of rail freight. In addition, the questionnaire includes questions on stable and predictable rail line usage charges, support for single carload (SCL) shipments, and renewal of aging rolling stock. Of course, there are also questions on the quality and safety of passenger transport, transparency, and efficiency of national carriers.

The movement has been gaining more and more popularity lately. Their expert forum attracts several interesting personalities, including Miroslav Dzurinda, an expert on the railway sector, František Demek from OAVD, Dušan Kaša, President of the Federation of Train Drivers, František Zaparanik, President of the Trade Union of Railwaymen, Patrik Benka, Executive Director of AROS, and others. In addition, the movement cooperates with several politicians. For example, Ladislav Matejka from the SaS party or Igor Janckulík, a transport expert from the KDH party, gave an interview. In addition, the movement's support on Facebook is steadily growing. The politicians' answers to the questionnaire are an exceptionally interesting topic, so we are eagerly awaiting their publication.