CZ/SK verze

EXCLUSIVE: A Big Overview of Support for Rail in Slovakia

EXCLUSIVE: A Big Overview of Support for Rail in Slovakia
photo: Archive/EXCLUSIVE: A Big Overview of Support for Rail in Slovakia
20 / 03 / 2023

Support for rail is insufficient in Slovakia. Both carriers and experts agree on this. The RAILTARGET editorial team has therefore taken a look at the overview of support for railways.

Price for traction electricity

The price of electricity for households is capped until 2024. On the other hand, there is no treatment of these prices for companies. The Slovak Railways (ŽSR) are thus forced to buy electricity at current spot prices. For example, in January, spot prices averaged EUR 146.58 per MWh. Distribution charges were then added to this price, which range between EUR 80 and EUR 100, so the total cost per MWh in January 2023 was between EUR 230 and EUR 250 per unit. In the autumn, Jaroslav Kmeta, the state secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Construction, warned that energy was endangering the railways and needed to be regulated.

The price for access to the railway transport route

We have covered rail infrastructure charges in our articles before (we wrote here). However, transport companies are currently living in uncertainty and are unable to offer their clients contracts for several months in advance. The reason for this is the fact that ŽSR, as the railway infrastructure manager, communicates the price to carriers only three months in advance. Historically, prices were given a year in advance. The price for access to the railway transport route is relatively low compared to neighbouring countries, to increase competitiveness. However, it must be taken into account that Slovakia is mountainous and thus faces higher energy costs.

Support for individual wagon consignments (SGE)

A volume equivalent to 400,000 trucks is transported annually within the JVZ (to compare, for example, in the Czech Republic, it is twice as much). Nevertheless, experts agree that there is insufficient government support for JVZs. Currently, the support for JVZ is prepared according to the "Concept for the Development of Intermodal Transport in the Slovak Republic" up to 2026, with an amount of EUR 13 million allocated for that year. Between 2026 and 2030, the government plans to pay support totalling EUR 66.7 million.

Support for intermodal transport

The Recovery and Resilience Plan is currently active in Slovakia, with €16.1 million of support approved for this year. Jaroslav Kmeta, State Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Construction, has already commented on this topic in the past. He stated that the reduction in the price of containers by between EUR 200 and EUR 300 is the first step towards ensuring that carriers do not divert their routes through Slovakia.