Tuesday, 4 February 2020

23 Million Euro Agreement Signed to Reconstruct Virovitica-Pitomača Railway Line

ZAGREB, February 4, 2020 - The state-owned rail company HŽ Infrastruktura and the Austrian company Swietelsky signed an agreement in Virovitica (150 kilometres east of Zagreb) on Monday for the reconstruction of the 21-kilometre-long railway line between Virovitica and Pitomača, a project worth about HRK 170 million (€23 m).

The work is expected to be completed in 18 months. The project will be financed with a commercial loan backed by a state guarantee. The upgraded line will allow trains to run at a speed of 100 kilometres an hour, which, compared with the present 80 km/h, will cut travel time and make travel safer.

The Virovitica-Pitomača section is part of the railway line connecting Varaždin, Koprivnica, Virovitica, Osijek and Dalj and is the first of the total of three sections for which HŽ Infrastruktura has secured 449 million kuna (60 m euro) for the next five year period. The other two sections are Pitomača-Virje (22 km) and Virje-Koprivnica (20 km).

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković said that this project was part of a major railway investment cycle. "Currently we are building railway infrastructure worth a total of 1.5 billion euro. These are mainly the most important transport corridors in Croatia, but we are also taking care of regional lines to ensure that all counties are adequately connected," he said.

Zvonko Dundović of Swietelsky said that this company has been present in the Croatian construction market for more than 20 years and has reconstructed more than 500 kilometres of railway tracks to date.

More news about railways in Croatia can be found in the Travel section.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Croatian Railways Resemble Rail from Westerns, Say MPs

ZAGREB, February 1, 2019 - Other countries are developing their railway networks while Croatian railways are accumulating losses, trains are slower and slower and the number of passengers traveling by train is decreasing, opposition members of parliament said on Thursday during a debate on a new bill on the railway which the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) believes will contribute to increasing the competitiveness of railway transport.

Our rail resembles the rail from the time of the Wild West, the infrastructure could be used to make westerns, Miro Bulj of the opposition MOST party said, noting that a bicycle ride from Split to Osijek took less than a train ride from one to the other city.

Unlike Croatia, other countries develop their rail sector and use it as an instrument for development, said Anka Mrak Taritaš of the GLAS party.

Ivan Lovrinović of the Let's Move Croatia (PH) party said that the rail sector lacked a strategy and was increasingly accumulating losses, which, he said, made it similar to the government.

Emil Daus of the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) said that the situation with the railway in Istria was disastrous, that the potential of the port of Rijeka was not being used just as the advantages of smaller Istrian ports were not being used. A railway upgrade would contribute to an increase in tourist arrivals, modern trains would not harm the environment, Daus said, adding that a Pula-Zagreb train ride, combined with bus, now lasted a minimum nine hours.

"The rail maintenance company HŽ Infrastruktura will absolutely not be privatised, that was never said," a State Secretary at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Transport, Nikolina Brnjac, told Social Democrat Alen Prelec who wanted to know which part of the railway infrastructure would be privatised - railway stops, stations or rail tracks.

The rail sector reform is designed to enable citizens to use its benefits, with the railway being the backbone of land transport, supported by bus transport, Brnjac told Božica Makar of the Croatian People's Party (HNS), who wanted to know if the train and bus fare systems would be modernised as well.

While opposition MPs claimed that the bill on the rail sector would not make the sector better, HDZ MPs praised it, with Ivan Šuker saying that it would mark the start of the rail sector's restructuring. He noted that along with the shipbuilding sector, the rail sector had been the biggest user of government guarantees in the amount of some 30 billion kuna over the past 28 years.

The government has said that the bill is designed to fully align the relevant national legislation to EU law, specifically the fourth railway package, which comprises a technical and a market pillar.

The main goals of the package are the establishment of a single European rail area and simplification of the legislative framework.

The new Croatian bill on the rail sector is also aimed at liberalising the passenger rail transport market.

More news on the Croatian railways can be found in the Travel section.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

China to Invest in Croatian Railways?

ZAGREB, July 10, 2018 - Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović on Monday received a delegation of the China Railway Group Limited company, headed by CEO Zhang Zongyan, who said the Chinese company was interested in taking part in tenders for future large infrastructure projects in Croatia, for example the project aimed at modernising the Rijeka-Zagreb-Budapest railway line, the Office of the Croatian President said in a press release.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

More People Killed on Level Crossings Last Year

ZAGREB, May 27, 2018 - Twenty-one people were killed on level crossings in Croatia last year, eight more than in 2016, while the number of train breakdowns increased by a fifth, a Train Dispatchers' Union representative told a parliamentary committee.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

700 Million Kuna for Upgrade of Vinkovci-Vukovar Railway

ZAGREB, May 22, 2018 - Grant agreements for the upgrade and electrification of the Vinkovci-Vukovar railway and the procurement of buses for the Polet Vinkovci company, valued at almost 700 million kuna, were signed on Monday in Vinkovci.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Contractor Selected for Major Railway Project

ZAGREB, March 23, 2018 - Swietelsky d.o.o. of Zagreb has been selected to modernise and electrify the railway line between Zaprešić and Zabok, a project worth 614.4 million kuna, of which 85% is co-financed by the EU, the HŽ Infrastruktura rail company announced on Friday.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Croatia and Serbia to Jointly Upgrade Zagreb-Belgrade Railway Line

The two countries are expected to improve cooperation in transportation.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Croatian Company to Export Cargo Wagons to Germany

ZAGREB, February 9, 2018 - The Đuro Đaković Specijalna Vozila, a joint-stock company and member of the Đuro Đaković Group, has closed a deal with the German European Rail Rent (ERR) company for the delivery of cargo wagons to transport coiled sheet metal, valued at 34.5 million kuna, the Slavonski Brod-based company reported on Thursday.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Croatia and Spain to Cooperate on Mediterranean Rail Corridor

ZAGREB, January 25, 2018 - The Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure and the Spanish rail manager ADIF on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding to establish cooperation in developing a Mediterranean rail corridor, one of the EU's nine main transport corridors, the Croatian company HŽ Infrastruktura said on Thursday.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Chinese Company Interested in Zaprešić-Zabok Railway Line Modernisation

Seven bids have been received for one of the most important infrastructure projects in Croatia.

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