Zagreb-Belgrade Train Trips to Be Shortened to “Just” Four Hours

By 10 March 2018

ZAGREB, March 10, 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 Butković of Croatia and Zorana Mihajlović 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 Vučić's visit to Croatia last month.

Butković 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 one billion euro. As for the funding, Butković said that Croatia would submit the project for the EU funding schemes that can cover up to 85% of the cost.

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

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

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

Serbia's European Integration Minister Jadranka Joksimović 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.