Cross-border summer train between Slovenia and Austria
Just few years ago there were discussions to abandon cross-border railway line between Maribor-Prevalje (Slovenia) and Bleiburg/Pliberk (Austria). Today this is history. The train connection runs three times a day from Monday to Friday, on weekends with two connections per direction. The route is especially popular with cyclists in particular, but also used by commuters.
Slovenian Railways are adding Saturday trains between Maribor and Bleiburg in summer season 2018. This is a result of key national and regional stakeholders cooperation within TRAN-BORDERS project in pilot area Slovenia/Austria. It is continuation of productive cooperation between Slovenian Railways, Austrian Railways (ÖBB) and local commuties coordinated by Regional Development Agency for Koroška region (RRA Koroška), regional development agency for Koroška region with the support of Slovenian Infrastructure agency.
Mr. Peter Zajc and Mr. Uroš Rozman (Regional Development Agency for Koroška region) and Mr. Matej Gabrovec (Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts) participated as representatives of TRANS-BORDERS at the joint press conference between the involved regions. Public representatives were Johan Rigelnik (municipality of Bleiburg), Dr. Matic Tasič (Mayor of Prevalje), Reinhard Wallner (Head of ÖBB for Passenger Transport in Carinthia), Miloš Rovšnik (Deputy Director of Slovenian Railway - Passenger Transport), Peter Wrolich (Carinthia Advertising Project Manager for Cycling), Jakob Strauß (Politician of Klagenfurt), Angelika Kuss-Bergner (Member of the Austrian Parliament in Vienna) and Bojan Žlender (Slovenian Ministry of Infrastructure, Head of Sustainable Mobility and Transport Policy).
The cross-border Saturday summer train can support sustainable mobility in the attractive cross-border tourism region. Among other international Drava River Cycle Route and Geopark Karawanken/Karavanke, part of the UNESCO world geoparks network, are located here.
But this is only the beginning as announced on the press conference held on Saturday 30th June 2018 in Bleiburg. According to Reinhard Wallner this railway line, which will be directly connected to the Koralm Railway, has at least a potential similar to the Micotra – best practice railway line between Villach and Udine/Trieste. Since there is not only potential in suistanable mobility for leisure time (tourism) as well as for the daily mobility (e. g. work or education). According to Reinhard Wallner, the weekend connection will be expanded as early as from 2019. Up to eleven trains are discussed between Bleiburg (Austria) and Dravograd (Slovenia) after 2020 supported with up to the date train carriages, espacially concerning the comfort of the passengers. Matic Tasic is convinced, that this cross-border public transport services strengthen the regions in particular. 15 municipalities in Lower Carinthia and Slovenia would thus grow even closer together economically.
Further information can be found under the following links in German and Slovenian language: