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Ljubljana to be linked with Trieste and Venice by train

Ljubljana, 07 August (STA) - Six years after the only direct passenger rail service between Slovenia and Italy was discontinued, Ljubljana will get back a direct rail link with Trieste and on to Venice next year.

Italy's Trenitalia will start operating trains between Ljubljana, Trieste and Venice next year, with a stop-over planned at Ronchi near Trieste airport, the Slovenian rail company Slovenske železnice said.

The company told the STA on Friday that the new train service is waiting only for an agreement to be signed between the Italian rail company and the authorities of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

The Slovenian rail operator believes the new connection will pave the way for business, tourism and other kinds of cooperation between the countries.

Trains on the route will run twice a day. The journey is expected to take about two hours and a half to Trieste and between three and four hours to Venice.

Fare prices are not known yet, but Slovenske železnice says they will be competitive to coach travel. A coach ticket from the Ljubljana bus terminal to Trieste costs nine euro and to Venice 19 euro.

Slovenia and Italy have not had a direct rail passenger service since the night train between Hungary's Budapest and Venice via Croatia's Zagreb and Ljubljana was discontinued in December 2011 because the Hungarian and Italian railway operators failed to agree on contractual terms.

An initiative set up by representatives of Nova Gorica and its Italian counterpart Gorizia has recently announced it will appeal to EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc to push for the two countries to re-establish links to serve people and businesses in the two countries.

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