3.5 Billion Euro Investment on Cards for Croatian Railways

Lauren Simmonds

A much needed and huge investment of 3.5 billion euros is in the works for Croatian railways.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josip Bohutinski/VL writes on the 13th of January, 2020 the total length of the network of railway lines operated by HŽ Infrastruktura (HŽI) is 2617 kilometres, of which 2343 kilometres are single tracks and only 274 kilometres are double tracks.

Croatia has invested tens of billions of kuna in the construction of highways, and now the turn has come for Croatian railways. Sveti Ivan Zabno – Gredec, the first new railway in the last 52 years in Croatia, opened at the end of last year, and the 258 million kuna invested in the construction of this railway line is only one small part of the 3.5 billion euro investment cycle launched for Croatian railways, Vecernji list writes.

The total length of the network of railway lines operated by HŽ Infrastruktura (HŽI) is, as stated, 2617 kilometres, of which 2343 kilometres are single tracks and only 274 kilometres are double tracks. According to data, 980 kilometres of the network were electrified. But in the next ten years, and mainly thanks to European Union funds, this should change significantly. Thus, by 2030, Croatia should have up to 681 kilometres double-track lines and 1,022 kilometres of electrified lines.

Thus, the length of two-lane lines should increase by 361 or 407 kilometres, depending on the future route of the section of the lowland railway. HŽI explains that along the RH2 corridor, ie the Croatian part of the Mediterranean corridor, the length of two-track lines will increase by at least 145 kilometres, which includes the sections Križevci – Koprivnica – the state border, Dugo Selo – Križevci, Hrvatski Leskovac – Karlovac and Škrljevo – Rijeka – Jurdani.

For the sections Karlovac – Oštarije and Oštarije – Škrljevo, study documentation is being prepared which will define the routes. For the section Karlovac – Oštarije, the possible length of the route is 40 kilometres, and for Oštarije – Škrljevo, 67 or 113 kilometres. HŽI also says that the length of two-track sections will increase by 82 kilometres on the RH1 corridor, and that will be on the Dugo Selo – Novska section. In addition, 42.6 kilometres of single-track lines will be electrified in this investment cycle, namely the Zaprešić-Zabok (23.9 km) and Vinkovci-Vukovar (18.7 km) lines.

EU co-financing is currently underway for the reconstruction of the existing track and construction of the second track on the 36.4 kilometre long Dugo Selo – Križevci section. The project is worth 196.9 million euros. Work on the reconstruction of the existing and construction of the second track on the section Križevci – Koprivnica – state border, totalling 42.6 kilometres, should begin soon.

The decision to select a contractor for the job with an estimated value of 283.9 million euros was made, but appeals were also lodged.

A tender for the reconstruction and construction of the second track on the Hrvatski Leskovac – Karlovac section will also be announced this year. The estimated value of the works stands at 315 million euros, and this section is 44 kilometres long. For the Karlovac – Oštarije section, however, as HŽI claims, a public procurement procedure is underway to select the designer of the study documentation, as it also is for the Oštarije-Škrljevo section.

The estimated value of works for the Karlovac – Oštarije section is 400 million euros, and for the line from Oštarije to Škrljevo – 667 million euros, depending on the selected technical solution of the route. For the project of the construction of the second track, modernisation and reconstruction of the Škrljevo – Rijeka – Jurdani section, the main project is underway. The section is 27.5 kilometres long and the estimated value of the works is 270 million euros.

Financing has not yet been resolved for the sections of the lowland railway from Karlovac to Jurdani, but it is possible, according to the announcement of the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butkovic, that Croatia will receive EU funds for the construction of these sections.

Chinese companies have shown interest in building these Croatian railways under a concession model. The estimated value of the works on the Dugo Selo – Novska section is 570 million euros, which would make the entire RH1 corridor two-lane. The design speeds for these new lines are 160 kilometres per hour. There will be new trains on the new tracks.

HŽ Passenger Transport has so far contracted the purchase of 28 new trains with a maximum speed of 120 km/h. It intends to finance the acquisition of 21 trains with 1.1 billion kuna in grants and the remaining 19 with a loan from the World Bank and Eurofima.

Other major projects include the Zaprešić-Zabok railway (the value of the modernisation and electrification project is 80.8 million euros), the Vinkovci-Vukovar railway, the Rijeka port (a project worth almost 36 million euros) and the Rijeka railway station where work is already underway.

Make sure to follow our dedicated travel page for more on Croatian railways.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment