Šaľa – Nitra rail line

Nitra (population 85 000) is located at the edge of the Danube plain, at the foot of the Tribeč mountains. It is the capital of Nitra district, population 164 000.

Nitra from the north, public domain image by Igor Marhevský

Nitra is linked to the Bratislava – Žilina rail line, by a branch from Leopoldov, which enters Nitra from the north. There is another branch line from the south, from Nové Zámky on the main Bratislava – Budapest line. This is convenient for Budapest – Nitra journeys, but not from Bratislava.

The solution is a new link to Nitra, from Šaľa – 61 km from Bratislava, on the Budapest line. This proposal assumes upgrading of the Bratislava – Budapest line, for speeds of 200 km/h and increased capacity. This is a classic example of a ‘missing link’ in a rail network: it is obvious to anyone who looks at the map. Probably, it has been proposed many times before. In combination with a new line east, it would also allow re-routing of the Bratislava – Zvolen route through Nitra. (The present route via Šurany and Levice is indirect, and Nitra is the only regional centre between Bratislava and Zvolen).

The new line would start just east of Šaľa, where the rail line crosses the Váh river. From there it would turn north-east in a straight line to Nitra. The straight line would take it neatly past the edge of the fertiliser plant Duslo Šaľa and the village of Cabaj-Čápor (population 3500). It would join the line from Nové Zámky , about 2-3 km from Nitra station. The new section would be 20 km long.

Nitra would then be about 85 km from Bratislava. With two stops, at Senec and Šaľa, inter-regional services should take about 45 minutes.

Šaľa – Nitra rail line

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