EUR 1.4 billion allocated for railway development

Railways in Serbia are in a poor condition with average speed of trains of some 40 km/h, it was said during a debate on railway modernization on Tuesday.

Source: Tanjug

The gathering in Belgrade also heard that EUR 1.4 billion will be invested in the system in the coming period.

Dejan Lasica, assistant to the minister of transport, stated that the funds have already been allocated, adding that this year will see a continuation of reorganization of the railways into a joint-stock company.

Lasica said that the process of liberalization of the railway market will kick off this year by opening for domestic operators, and that later phases may include regional and international operators.

The new railway law is in the procedure in the Serbian government, and its adoption is expected in the first quarter of the year, he said.

Serbian Railways Director General Dragoljub Simonović announced a change of staff and savings so that the company would make better business results.

He underlined that Corridor 10 should be finished as soon as possible as it may happen that international trains start using Corridor 4 over Romania and Bulgaria.

Serbian Railways paid penalties and provisions in the previous three years amounting to around EUR 2 million to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as the granted funds of EUR 200 million were not used for procurement of trains and modernization of railways at Corridor 10.

Serbian Railways said that nearly 200 kilometers of railroad should be repaired annually, while in the previous period this figure was only 36 kilometers per year.

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