Slovenian Railways

Pragersko, Slovenia | C.1991

Photo Credit: Nastja Kikec

Slovenian Railways (Slovene: Slovenske Zeleznice, S) is the state railway company of Slovenia, created in 1991 from the Ljubljana division of the former Yugoslav Railways after the breakup of Yugoslavia.

The history of rail transport in Slovenia dates back to 1846 with the opening day of the Graz to Celje section of the Austrian Southern Railway. The events that day included the inaugural run of the first train to operate in Slovenia. Shortly after the pomp and circumstance, the difficult and dangerous task of extending the line though challenging terrain to Ljubljana was underway. Finally completed in 1849, the line eventually continued to Trieste, now in Italy.

Starting in 1860, numerous other railways were built through to the early 1900s. Single-track electrified lines were added after World War II, and updates were made along the way.

Today, the state run Slovenian Railways operates 1,560 km of tracks, reaching all regions of the country. It is well connected to all surrounding countries, reflecting the fact that Slovenia used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and later of Yugoslavia. Left-hand running is used on double-track sections, unlike the remainder of the former Yugoslavian railways which is right-hand running (equivalent to driving on different sides of the road).

More complicated than right-handed or left-handed running equipment is the electrification of the remainder of the former Yugoslavian railways. They operate on an AC system, meaning that trains to Zagreb must change engines at Dobova until dual system engines become available. The DC system was inherited from the Italian Ferrovie dello Stato and further electrification was conducted with the same system to preserve compatibility.

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