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.

Monday, 16 December 2019

New 35 Million Euro Railway Track Inaugurated Northeast of Zagreb

ZAGREB, December 16, 2019 - The 12.2 kilometre Gradec - Sv. Ivan Žabno railway line, which has cost 258 million kuna and has been co-funded by the European Union's funds, was formally opened on Monday morning.

This is the first investment in a new railway line in 52 years in Croatia, and in attendance at the ceremony were top officials including Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković who were among passengers aboard the train which was the first to be driven from Sveti Ivan Žabno to Gradec and back, some 60 kilometres north-east of Zagreb, on Monday morning.

The new railroad will shorten commuting times from these parts of Croatia and the capital city of Zagreb.

This investment included three overpasses and three underpasses and a bridge. Also bypasses and ringroads in the area were reconstructed.

PM Plenković said that the new railway line would facilitate the transport of residents in the counties of Koprivnica-Križevci, Zagreb and Bjelovar-Bilogora, and cut travel time between Zagreb and Bjelovar by an hour.

Minister Butković added that upon the reconstruction of some railway lines and the construction of a new section between Križevci and Dugo Selo, the travel time by train between Bjelovar and Zagreb would take less than an hour.

Butković said that currently 1.5 billion euro of investments were being implemented in the rail sector in Croatia.

More news about EU funds can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Zagreb to Bjelovar in One Hour: Croatia Railways Opens New Track

The train ride from Bjelovar to Zagreb via the new Sveti Ivan Žabno - Gradec railway section will be free of charge from December 15 until the end of the year, as a way to celebrate the opening of the new track in Croatia, the first after more than 50 years.

According to zagrebinfo on December 10, 2019 - the agreement on transport co-financing was signed on Monday by Damir Bajs, representing Bjelovarsko-bilogorski county, and the President of Croatia Railways Passenger Transport, Zeljko Ukić. The co-financing for the free railway ticket is at a fifty-fifty ratio, and will apply to all passengers who depart from Bjelovar station to Zagreb via the new Sveti Ivan Žabno – Gradec railway line.

Zagreb to Bjelovar Ticket Prices Reduced for 2020

“The project our county launched 20 years ago has finally been completed. The Sveti Ivan Žabno - Gradec line is one of the most valuable EU projects in this region of Croatia, and it will allow Bjelovar residents to enjoy a suburban-like commute time to Zagreb,” Bajs revealed.

He added that the new railway line brings Bjelovarsko-bilogorski county out of transportation isolation. "I am also looking forward to the new trains which will provide passengers with an enhanced travel experience," Bajs added.

Zeljko Ukić, President of Croatia Railways Passenger Transport, explained that, after free travel ends at the beginning of 2020, next year’s ticket price will be reduced by ten to 25 percent, since the journey from Bjelovar to Zagreb has been shortened by about 15 kilometers.

Zagreb to Bjelovar in 50 Minutes

“I believe that the new railway will mean a lot for the Bjelovarsko-bilogorski, Koprivnica-Križevci and Zagreb counties. The travel time to Zagreb has been reduced to one hour and 11 minutes. When construction is completed on the second track of the Dugo Selo – Križevci railway line it will be further reduced to 50 minutes," Ukić pointed out. He added that seven daily trains will run on the new Zagreb – Bjelovar route, while five will run on the route from Bjelovar to Zagreb. The existing trains will be equipped with air-conditioning, and we are introducing a tilting train. Passengers will certainly enjoy a much more pleasant travel experience, especially during summer months,” he added.

The new Sveti Ivan Žabno – Gradec line is just over 12 kilometers long, with construction costs totaling 240 Million HRK (32.3 Million EUR), with 85 percent of those costs covered by EU funds.

Follow our Travel page for more information on transportation infrastructure improvements in Croatia.

Friday, 20 September 2019

GLAS Calls for Sorting Out Land Registers, Upgrading Rail Network

ZAGREB, September 20, 2019 - The opposition GLAS party said on Friday it would propose the establishment of an agency to join land and cadastral registers and called for using EU funds to upgrade the country's railway network.

Addressing a news conference in the parliament, GLAS leader Anka Mrak Taritaš warned that land registers were in disarray and that of 3,351 cadastral communities, only 173 or 5% had been sorted out as well as that if the current rate of sorting out cadastres was maintained, it would take 150 years to sort them out.

GLAS therefore proposes that an agency be established to do that job, Mrak Taritaš told reporters.

The state has the duty to solve that problem and until that is done, investors will avoid Croatia and its citizens will not trust it either, she said, adding that her party would put forward a bill showing that that was possible.

Commenting on protests against climate change to take place in a few Croatian cities later in the day, Mrak Taritaš sad that countries had serious policies on climate change, noting that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had announced that sizeable funds would be set aside for that purpose.

In Croatia, we act as if that problem did not exist, she said.

GLAS MP Nada Turina Đurić warned that the rail network was in poor condition and that a train ride from Zagreb to the northern Adriatic port city of Rijeka today lasted four hours, whereas some 30 years ago it took three and a half hours.

She recalled member of the European Parliament Jozo Radoš's amendment in which he stressed the need to seek funds from the EU for the modernisation of the regional rail network.

That should have been the basis for launching talks with Slovenia on the modernisation of the rail network to connect the port of Rijeka and the Slovenian Adriatic coast, however, everything was put on hold due to the border dispute between the two countries, she said.

Both countries would benefit from a possible agreement, as would Central European countries, she said.

More news about GLAS can be found in the Politics section.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Rijeka Introduces Integrated Transport to Increase Public Transport

September 3, 2019 - The integrated passenger transportation system by Croatian Railways trains and Autotrolej buses have been put into operation. From September 1, passengers in Rijeka, Bakar and Matulji can also travel by train with Autotrolej tickets at no extra charge, reports HRTurizam.

This is the beginning of the implementation of integrated transport in the Rijeka area, which aims to increase the number of public transport trips, which will lead to a decrease in passenger cars on the roads, an increase in road safety and a reduction in the exhaust gas, the City of Rijeka said.

“The full integration of the railway into urban public transport will follow the construction of the second track between Škrljevo, Rijeka, and Jurdani, and by then this project aims at restoring the habit of using the railway for daily commuting to and from the city. To that end, new stops will be opened by the end of the year in the Bakar and Matulji area, and completion of the stop at the Fenice Theater in the center of Rijeka is expected in January next year,” said Rijeka Mayor Veljko Obersnel.


From now on, trains carry passengers from Šapjane in the west, to Fužine in the east, with passengers using a unique monthly subscription card for transport by train and city buses.

The Agreement on long-term partnership in the development of integrated passenger transport in the City of Rijeka, as well as the Agreement on the promotion of integrated passenger transport using a work, student, and retirement prepaid card, was signed in June this year, when the first passenger train test was organized on the Rijeka - Šapjane - Rijeka route. 

The joint monthly ticket of HŽPP - KD Autotrolej enables train transportation within 4 zones and Autotrolej buses. City trains will operate 12 departures daily between Jurdani and Rijeka, while there will be 14 departures between Fužine and Rijeka - Fužine.

Full implementation of the integrated passenger transport system is expected after the construction of the second railway track from Škrljevo to Jurdani.


The construction of the second track on the existing Škrljevo - Rijeka - Šapjane line includes the reconstruction of the existing railway stations and stops at the section in question and the construction of new railway stops in the function of urban/suburban traffic.

Stations outside the city limits (Jurdani, Škrljevo, along with Matulji, Rukavac and Jušići) will be used as endpoints. The length of the route within the city limits is approximately 18 km.

The following city/suburban railway stations are being constructed along the corridor: Pavlovac, Martinkovac, Marčeljeva Draga, Kantrida / Zamet, Krnjevo, Mlaka, Center (Station), Zagrad, Školjić, Sušak, Caves, Podvežica, Vežica, Draga, Sveti Kuzam.

According to the Croatian Railways' plans, the preparation of all documentation for this project, including property legal preparation, should be completed by 2020.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.