While Trains Are Stuck in Snow, New Snowploughs Stand Idle

Total Croatia News

Bureaucracy once again defeats common sense.

The incidents on Thursday night, when two trains on the Zagreb-Split line got stuck in snow and ultimately arrived at their destinations many hours late, are the reason for the major argument between the two state-owned companies which are in charge of passenger transportation, HŽ Infrastructure, which is supposed to maintain the railways and clear the snow, and HŽ Passenger Transport, which runs the trains, reports Jutarnji List on February 24, 2018.

The HŽ Passenger Transport company accuses HŽ Infrastructure of not clearing the snow from railroads quickly enough. HŽ Infrastructure rejects the accusations and says its workers are doing everything they can. However, a proof that the snow is not being cleared fast enough is the fact that, just half an hour after the first train towards Split was saved from the snow drifts, a second train was stopped at the very same location and had to wait for four hours to continue its journey.

The central piece of equipment which is used for clearing the snow from the track is rail snowplough. HŽ Infrastructure says it owns five such machines, of which three are located in Ogulin, in the snowy Gorski Kotar region, while the other two are in nearby Rijeka. The company also says that all five machines are in working order and regularly used.

However, informed sources say this is not true and that only two machines are operational, while the rest are defective. Also, they say that in Ogulin there are two additional, entirely new machines purchased last year by HŽ Infrastructure, but they are not being used because they have not yet received a licence from the Railway Transportation Agency.

HŽ Infrastructure admits that the two new machines are not being used, but claims that is not its fault. The company further explains that the two machines were delivered in September last year. Together with spare parts, the devices cost about 3.6 million euros. After delivery, the manufacturer launched the process of obtaining the certificates which are needed by HŽ Infrastructure to obtaining a necessary license. One group of the documents was received on 16 January and the rest on 29 January.

HŽ Infrastructure immediately assembled all the documents and on 31 January sent a request to the Railway Transportation Agency. Now they are waiting for the licence to be issued because the machines cannot be used without it.

We can only hope that the licence will arrive in time for the next winter since it is already too late for this one.

Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Krešimir Žabec).


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