Sunday, 29 December 2019

Zagreb to Karlovac in 30 Minutes: Croatian Railways Upgrade Project

The train ride from Karlovac to Zagreb currently takes an hour. A track reconstruction project of the Hrvatski Leskovac - Karlovac railway line, worth 3.45 billion HRK (463.4 million EUR), will cut the train journey to 30 minutes.

zagreb karlovac train 07.jpg

Section of Current Weekday Zagreb - Karlovac Train Schedule | Croatian Railways

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković attended a ceremony in Karlovac on December 27, 2019 to sign the grant agreement for the project to rebuild the existing railway line and construct a second track from Hrvatski Leskovac to Karlovac.

Zagreb – Karlovac Train Speeds to 160km/h

It is a 44-kilometer section of the railway, and its reconstruction and second track upgrade will improve suburban traffic from Zagreb to Karlovac, and is part of a larger project to build a lowland railway from Hungary to the Port of Rijeka, which will improve connections to the markets of Central Europe.

The project encompasses the reconstruction of the existing railway line and the construction of a second track. It also includes the renovation of the Hrvatski Leskovac, Jastrebarsko and Karlovac railway stations, while the Horvati, Zdenčina and Draganići stations will be transformed into stops. The existing stops Mavracići, Desinec, Domagovići and Lazina will also be renovated. The reconstruction of the railway line will include upgrading and modernizing a stable railway track and installing signaling and telecommunications systems, which will enable maximum train speeds of 160 km/h.

zagreb karlovac train 01.jpg

Current 44 Kilometer Track Upgrade and Construction | Croatian Railways

Increased Use of EU Budget Funds for Infrastructure

The Prime Minister stressed that it is important that this event is happening just a few days before Croatia takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, according to 01Portal on December 27, 2019.

“In public life, it is important to continue to raise awareness of the added value of EU membership. This project, worth 3.45 billion HRK, of which 2.7 billion are entirely grants from the European budget to Croatia, is another example of how important EU membership is for the development of Croatia, and for the development of transport or railway infrastructure in this particular case,” Prime Minister Plenković pointed out.

Croatia to Invest 3 Billion EUR in Railway Upgrades

He announced that Croatia will invest 3 billion EUR in railway infrastructure improvements over the next ten years. He added that the reconstruction of the main train station in Karlovac was also a sound investment for Karlovac, and an effective use of European funds.

“Karlovac will obtain a modernized renovated station and, most importantly, our Karlovac residents will arrive in Zagreb twice as fast as they can currently,” said the Prime Minister, pointing out the additional value of this project, which increases the overall percentage of fund usage within the EU budgetary framework to 83 percent.

The contract for the grant was signed by the Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković, the CFCA (Central Finance and Contracting Agency) Director Tomislav Petrić and the President of the Board of HZ (Croatian Railways) Infrastructure Ivan Kršić. The Hrvatski Leskovac - Karlovac track section is a part of the Zagreb - Rijeka railway line.

Upgrades Underway for Entire Zagreb – Rijeka Line

“Tenders are underway for project studies to upgrade the next two railway sections to Rijeka: Karlovac - Oštarije and Oštarije – Škrljevo. We have obtained the necessary location permits and plans are also underway to improve the Škrljevo - Rijeka - Jurdani section, which is the fourth and final section of the Zagreb - Rijeka railway line,” Ivan Kršić noted.

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

Saturday, 21 December 2019

FlixBus and Croatian Railways: Synergy in Future of Sustainable Travel

December 21, 2019 -  As integrated transport occupies an increasingly important place in the future of sustainable driving and becomes an alternative to using passenger vehicles, the more transport providers see the future precisely through cooperation. Like the latest project between Flixbus and Croatian Railways. 

HRTurizam writes that this step into the future was also confirmed by the first collaboration between the leading European bus carrier and the national rail passenger transport. FlixBus and HŽŽ (Croatian Railways) have networked to their advantage and now, European destinations like Vienna, Rome, Paris or Prague are closer to destinations like Bjelovar, Sisak, Zabok or Koprivnica.

In recent years, FlixBus has developed the largest international bus network with over 400,000 daily connections in 30 countries. By collaborating with HŽ Passenger Transport, an additional 70 destinations from Central Croatia are included in this global network with almost 170 daily departures.

Thanks to this collaboration, travelers can now plan their trip to the most desirable European destinations by combining train and bus rides. Those traveling by train from or to Zagreb from Sisak, Bjelovar, Križevci, Koprivnica, Zabok, Krapina and Karlovac and everywhere the train passes can travel directly to 10 European countries such as Germany, Italy or France with one ticket for both carriers. Available combination destinations and tickets can be found today on the free mobile app and the FlixBus website and at the ticket office of the Sisak railway station.

“From the outset, the mission of FlixBus is to provide everyone with a comfortable and easy journey. Smartly connecting different transport models is crucial in carrying out this mission. Cooperation with Croatian Railways is the next step in the future of integrated travel and an easy journey for all,” said Ante Grbeša, Director of  FlixBus CEE South.

Traveling by train is the most environmentally friendly and sustainable in the long run. Accordingly, Croatian Railways focuses its development policy on business and social goals based on the principles of sustainable development. By adapting to the challenges of mobility and increasing the quality of service, they promote integrated transport, which improves the movement of the population to improve the quality of life of citizens.

"The introduction of integrated regular transport creates added value and citizens will be able to use one ticket for train and bus transportation. This type of transport is part of positive European practice and we believe that we will soon offer it in other major cities. Using public transport relieves the city roads, so I hope that citizens will be satisfied with this service and use cars less,” said Željko Ukic, President of Croatian Railways Board. 

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

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Croatian Railways: Refund or Voucher if Train More Than 60 Minutes Late

Croatian Railways is introducing a new guideline: If your train is more than 60 minutes late, you are entitled to a partial refund or travel voucher.

According to Poslovni Dnevnik on December 4, 2019; here's what you’ll need to do to get your partial refund or voucher. As of today, passengers using Croatian Railways are entitled to a partial refund for 60 to 119-minute delay. They will be paid a refund, which is 25 percent of the ticket price, and the refund deadline is one month after the application is received.

Instead of a receiving a partial refund, the passenger can choose a travel voucher of equal value, as reported on the official website of HZ Passenger Transport.

The Statute of the European Parliament and Council on rail passengers' rights and obligations will be in effect as of today. According to the new law, passengers are entitled to a partial refund for a delay of 60 to 119 minutes, which is equivalent to 25 percent of the ticket price. Travelers are entitled to a 50 percent refund for delays longer than 120 minutes, reports tportal.

In order to exercise their rights to a refund, passengers must submit their original ticket (certified by a train attendant or cashier) and send the request and the certified ticket by mail to:

HŽ Putnički prijevoz
Prodaja i marketing
Strojarska cesta 11
10 000 Zagreb

The refund payment, as noted, does not apply to subsidized tickets, those sold by other railway ticket vendors or tickets for railway workers for their work or business trips. The refund for the delay will be paid to the passenger within one month of receipt of their application.

HZ Passenger Transport will not pay a refund of less than 4 EUR (at the current HRK conversion rate). Passengers can download claim forms on their website here.

For more information on transportation and travel in Croatia, follow our dedicated page here.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

3.5 Billion Euro to Be Invested in Railway Infrastructure by 2030

ZAGREB, October 1, 2019 - Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković, addressing a conference on Tuesday marking the 150th anniversary of the start of construction of the Zagreb - Rijeka railway line, announced that about €3.5 billion would be invested by 2030 in the reconstruction and construction of the railway infrastructure.

Opening a business forum, Butković said that the Zagreb-Rijeka railway had a lot of potential even today and that the development of the railway infrastructure was one of the main preconditions to achieve the full potential of the port of Rijeka. He said that an estimated €3.5 billion would be invested by 2030 in the reconstruction and construction of Croatia's railway infrastructure.

He recalled that in the 1990s railway freight transport accounted for 90% of transport at the Rijeka port but with the construction of the motorway a part of freight transport was redirected and now railway freight at the port accounts for about 25% of turnover. Today more than ever it is necessary to change those statistics, he said adding that the transport strategy has recognised the potential of the Zagreb-Rijeka railway line for freight transport and that the European Commission too has recognised the potential of railway freight transport and has financed the construction of several railway lines in Croatia, listing several railway infrastructure projects.

Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Prefect Zlatko Komadina said that it was necessary to embark on strategic projects as soon as possible, while Rijeka Mayor Vojko Obersnel commented on the poor state of the Rijeka passenger railway station considering that next year Rijeka would be the European Capital of Culture and that it was necessary to construct a railway line to modern standards.

"This has been talked about for decades and I hope that the time has come for us all to get to work. I have warned on several occasions that the railway station needs to be reconstructed and hope that will be done soon," the mayor said.

Butković said that money for the railway station had been secured and that two tenders had been advertised, but the bids were significantly higher than the estimated value of the project. He added that a new tender would be advertised soon with corrected prices and that he hoped contracts would be signed before the end of the year.

More transport news can be found in the Business section.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

HŽPP Planer App Helps Passenger See When Their Train Will Arrive

It is free, accurate like a Swiss clock, and saves time to people who usually spend half an hour or more a day waiting for their trains. The mobile app in question is HŽPP Planer, thanks to which with just a few clicks on a mobile phone passengers can see the GPS position of the train they are waiting for, when the train will arrive and how much will the trip cost them. The app has more than 42,000 downloads on Google Play and was designed by a third-year student of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing Josip Šalković. Thanks to the success of his software, he has recently established cooperation with the Croatian Railways company, which promotes his app on its website, reports Večernji List on January 12, 2019.

“The main goal of the app is for no one to have to wait for the train for more than a few minutes because now they know where the train is at any moment. And we all know how much our trains like to abide by the timetables,” said Šalković laughingly. His GPS tracking system for trains is the first such system in Croatia.

How does it work? The HŽPP Planer app downloads the GPS data in real-time from the central data network of the Croatian Railways. Instead of showing a map with the exact position of the train, the app tells the passenger near what station the train is currently located and at what speed it is moving, calculating how much time the train will need to reach the passenger’s station.

“The HŽPP Planer app covers the whole national rail traffic. It does not matter whether a person is travelling from Zagreb to Dugo Selo or from Osijek to Rijeka or Split. The app will ‘find’ the train and tell them everything they are interested in,” Šalković pointed out.

The GSP system and the timetable overview are just some of the information given to users, since the application also notifies the users about construction works, navigates them during the trip, and tells them at which station they should leave the train. It explains where and how to change trains if needed and informs them about any inevitable delays. People who are particularly curious can enter the code of the train to check whether it is an older or a newer model and see the photos of its interior. The app calculates the ticket price in both directions, including discounts if the traveller is a student or a pensioner. In addition to searching within the app, timetables can be downloaded to your phone and viewed even when you are not online.

“This is especially useful to people who travel by train every day to work or university because their life depends on the timetables,” said Josip, who often travels from Zagreb, where he lives, to Karlovac, where he comes from. That is why he came up with the idea to develop the HžZPP Planer app in the first place.

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

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Hana Ivković).

Monday, 5 November 2018

Split to Zagreb in One Hour? Croatia Wants Chinese Investment in Railways

If Croatia had China's railway innovation, and Chinese investment, travelers could get from Split to Zagreb in just over an hour. 

Monday, 15 October 2018

Uhljebistan Strikes Again? Croatian Railways Worker Highlights Stupidity

Croatian Railways gets an unflattering rundown on social media by one of its deeply dissatisfied employees.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Students from Split-Dalmatia County Offered Free Train Travel throughout Country

A great incentive for students to visit home without breaking the bank. 

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.

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