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Passenger traffic between Ljubljana and Kočevje resumes after half a century

Passenger traffic between Ljubljana and Kočevje resumes after half a century

The renovated railway line was inaugurated last weekend

The first run on the renovated Grosuplje-Kočevje railway line took place on Sunday, marking the reintroduction of regular passenger traffic after more than 50 years. Minister of Infrastructure Jernej Vrtovec, as well as representatives of Slovenian Railways and the mayors of the concerned municipalities, took part in the important event.

Making railway transport more attractive

The first passenger train since 1971 headed for Kočevje departed from Ljubljana on Sunday, 3 January, informed STA. The key transport development is expected to bring about much-awaited transit to South Slovenia, with ten trains daily and a journey lasting for 1h25 minutes.

"The re-establishment of passenger traffic between Ljubljana and Kočevje means new development opportunities for the Ribnica-Kočevje area as well as for the whole of Slovenia. I am convinced that the investment worth almost 100 million euros will pay off, as the region will be able to develop even faster economically and in terms of tourism. I am happy that the new Stadler trains, which are more comfortable, of better quality and faster, will run on the renovated Kočevje railway. In this way, it will be easier for people to decide to travel by train," Minister Vrtovec was quoted saying, upon his arrival in Kočevje.

He further recalled that the re-establishment of passenger traffic will greatly relieve roads, increase traffic safety and contribute to a cleaner environment. He was adamant that railway transport attractivity must be enhanced.

According to state authorities, the renovated train track will allow speeds of up to 100 kilometres per hour and future developments should make even shorter travel times possible. One of the major initiatives that are expected is the upgrade of the Grosuplje railway station.

New connections, new opportunities

The Ljubljana-Kočevje rail started in 1893 and brought about significant growth in exports of brown coal and wood from the Kočevje and Ribnica region. However, the passenger railway transport to Kočevje was completely abandoned in 1970, and the modern heavy trains found it difficult to move on the old tracks, which as a consequence slowed down cargo transport. The latter entailed an overhaul between 2008 and 2020.

The renovated Kočevje train station is located on the outskirts of the city of Kočevje, and a short 10-minute walk takes you to the centre. According to the regional tourist website, the plateau of Kočevski Rog and the virgin forests of Rajhenavski Rog is a must-see for those seeking adventure in nature.

Furthermore, The Krokar Virgin Forest, stretching on a surface of over 75 hectares, and inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2018, is one of the few remnants of the beech forests that survived the Ice Age.

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