SLOVAKIA’s rail safety authority, Dopravný Úrad, has authorised the placing into service of new three-car 1000mm-gauge Stadler Rail EMUs delivered to state railway ŽSSK on August 2 for passenger service.

All five sets operate on 1.5kV dc overhead electrification and have a maximum speed of 80km/h. Each train offers 91 seats, two spaces for wheelchairs and space for skis, bicycles and other outdoor equipment.

The new trains are expected to start operating on the narrow-gauge network in the High Tatra mountains during August. They can be used for both rack and pinion and conventional adhesion operation and their introduction means through services between both types of infrastructure is possible.

Swiss-built class 405 dual-gauge cogwheel EMUs had been used on the 5km line between Štrba and Štrbské Pleso.

ŽSSK ordered the hybrid rack-and pinion and conventional adhesion trains and one electro-diesel locomotive suitable for both rack-rail and conventional operation in 2018. EMU delivery started in early 2021. Slovak infrastructure manager ŽSR closed the rack-rail line between Štrba and Štrbské Pleso in July 2020 for a complete renewal. The line is to be reopened in the second half of 2021.

The new Stadler Rail EMUs, based on the GTW 2/6 platform, are designated as ŽSSK class 495.95.