Reconstruction of Zagreb-Belgrade railway to shorten train journey to 4 hours

BELGRAD, 09.03.2018.

Serbia and Croatia on Friday signed a memorandum of agreement between their transport and infrastructure ministries on cooperation in promoting the efficiency of rail transport, which is expected to result in a reconstruction of the Belgrade-Zagreb railway and accelerate passenger and freight transport from 7.5 to 4 hours.

The memorandum was signed in Belgrade by ministers Oleg Butkovic of Croatia and Zorana Mihajlovic of Serbia.

The signing of the memorandum was assessed as very important for both sides and as one of the first concrete results of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic's visit to Croatia last month.

Butkovic underlined the importance of Corridor X for Croatia, the whole region as well as the European Union as a whole, saying the project would cost Croatia about EUR 1 billion. As for the funding, Butkovic said that Croatia would submit the project for the EU funding schemes that can cover up to 85% of the cost.

Butkovic said that Zagreb had prepared papers for the revamping of its two sections of the rail-line.

Serbia will invest about EUR 250 million in the reconstruction of its section of the railway.

The Zagreb-Belgrade railway is 412 kilometres longCroatia's section is 296 kilometres long and the remaining 116 kilometres stretch through Serbia.

Serbia's European Integration Minister Jadranka Joksimovic underlined the importance of regional and bilateral cooperation in infrastructure projects and joint applying for funding so that Croatia and Serbia, as an EU member state and an accession candidate, could "in synergy" exploit the chances for using the EU's infrastructure funds.

The ministers from the two countries today also discussed plans for reconstructing three bridges connecting Croatia and Serbia. An agreement for that purpose may be signed next month.

(Hina)