Since the 1990s, all governments have forgotten the railway investments in Croatia. Because of this, most railroads and stations are in poor condition. However, the time has come for change. All investments in transport in the Republic of Croatia in the next ten years will be in the railways. Croatia will have multiple economic and social benefits from the development of rail transport. First of all, rail is more environmentally, energetically and spatially more efficient than road transport. Developed countries invest a lot in rail, and every euro invested in rail development returns four euros to the economy.
Križevci – Koprivnica – Hungarian border Railway
This project is very interesting because it has a higher value than the value of the Pelješac bridge. The railway is part of the Mediterranean corridor worth over HRK 3 billion. The works will include the construction of a new track and the reconstruction of an existing one. 43-kilometer long railway line will enable the speed of 160 km/h. The contractor for this project is Turkish company Cengiz Insaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A. S. The contract was signed in 2019 and the project deadline is 42 months.
Hrvatski leskovac – Karlovac Railway
The reconstruction project for a 44-kilometer long railway line from Hrvatski Leskovac to Karlovac is worth HRK 2.72 billion. This project is important because it will facilitate the transport of cargo from the port of Rijeka to continental Europe. In general, the development of this port is one of the most important strategic projects of the Republic of Croatia. 85 percent of the value will be financed by money from European funds.
Vinkovci – Vukovar Railway
This is also another project funded by the European Union with 85 percent. The modernization of the Vinkovci – Vukovar railway is worth HRK 516.3 million. The main reason for this investment is the increase in the volume of rail freight transport and the transshipment of goods in the port of Vukovar. It is an upgrade and electrification of the existing 18.7-kilometer railway line. Also, this investment will enable better interconnection of rail passenger transport in the east of Croatia with the main transport corridors. The top speed will be up to 120 km/h, which will further reduce travel time.
Zagreb – Savski Marof Railway
It is a section of the 17.8-kilometer railway line located on the RH1 corridor. This section is extremely important for the international freight and suburban transportation of the city of Zagreb. The contract is worth HRK 365.7 million (excluding VAT), of which HRK 210 million is financed by The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The top speed will be up to 120 km/h. Swietelsky construction company was selected as the contractor.
Zaprešić – Zabok Railway
The project includes the modernization and electrification of the 24 kilometers of the Zaprešić – Zabok railway line. The project is worth HRK 614.4 million. 85 percent of the value will be financed by money from European funds. The top speed will be up to 120 km/h. Construction will be completed in 2022. If everything goes according to plan, then Zabok is definitely becoming a suburb of Zagreb.
New 31 trains as part of railway investments in Croatia
In 2020, contracts were signed for a total of 31 new trains. 21 new electric motor trains, 11 suburban and 10 regional trains will be modernized. Also, this project is funded by the European Union. I hope that railway investments in Croatia after the economic crisis of 2020 caused by the coronavirus will not stop. It is also a pity that the south of the country is not yet involved in all these projects.