The improvement of Kosovo's railways has taken a big step forward with the work started today on the railway section from Fushë Kosovë to Mitrovica. Efforts to improve the country's only international rail link are being financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union (EU).
When the 149 kilometer rail link is complete, it will connect Kosovo to Serbia in the north and North Macedonia in the south. It will increase the cruising speed to 100 km/h and provide safer passenger and cargo transportation.
The works will include the renovation of 35 kilometers of line and upgrading of five train stations in line with Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) standards. This is the second of a three-phase rehabilitation project and follows ongoing work in the section from Kosovo's border with North Macedonia to Fushë Kosovë.
The investment is financed by a €40 million EBRD loan and a €42 million EIB loan to Kosovo's national railway company, Infrastruktura e Hekurudhave të Kosovës (Infrakos). In addition, almost half of all project costs are expected to be covered by an EU investment grant of approximately €83 million through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).
Neil Taylor, EBRD Head of Kosovo, said: “We are delighted to see that Kosovo is making progress in the rehabilitation of the railway, the largest investment in the country's transport infrastructure in decades. It will connect Kosovo to the region and beyond and help increase economic opportunities and make travel easier, safer and greener for its citizens.”
The Kosovo rail route 10 project is part of the Western Balkans main rail network and an extension of TEN-T, which is part of the EU's wider efforts to promote transport connectivity in the Western Balkans.
The country's rail system is in poor condition due to severe structural restrictions that limit traffic to 30-70 km/h. Decades of underinvestment has led to deterioration similar to the rest of the region. The low speeds and poor quality of rail services have dominated road transport.
The EBRD and the EU are supporting rail renewals in the Western Balkans to improve connectivity and promote the transition from road to rail as a greener mode of transport. The Bank's investments in the railway sector in the Western Balkans region will reach 2022 billion Euros in 1.
The EBRD is one of the leading institutional investors in Kosovo. To date, it has invested €625 million in the country's economy.
Günceleme: 03/01/2023 12:51