The Slovenia Times

If the Koper-Divača railway is not built soon, the truck traffic will increase 80 percent



In your opinion, when should the second track have been built and why is important for the future?

The second track is not only important for the Port of Koper and the Slovenian economy, but it is also important for the mobility of the Slovenians and will put the Slovenian economy within the European and global economies. The European Commission is reintroducing former X. corridor as the Alpine-Balkan Corridor, which is supposed to operate by 2023, however the second rail track should have been built at least five years ago. For the customers of the Port of Koper, it is important that the goods are at their destination on time and not six hours later or earlier, this is the basis for planning just in time production and all the other activities that depend on this, including the end-market.
Safety and security is important when the infrastructure is occupied more than 80 percent and the single track Koper - Divača overburdened: e.g. the railing breaks, it stops immediately and means a lack of certainty for delivery, which is the most disturbing factor.

How will the building of a second rail track relieve the traffic on Slovenia's motorways?

When traffic by rail is not available, trucks are used for all urgent consignments and this truck component has increased, which means the carbon footprint has also increased. If the Koper-Divača railway is not built in the near future, truck traffic will increase 80 percent.

When is the second track anticipated to be built, and what is the estimated value of the project according to the comparisons with best practices from abroad?

The Slovenian government says that the Koper-Divača railway will be finished in 2025. In my opinion, it could be built in five years, by 2023. I think this would be the normal timeframe for building it. As to the price, I think only the market will indicate the price; when the tender is made, we will get the price. I think, however, between EUR 700m and EUR 900m would be the normal price. There has also been a comparison made with the prices for building similar railway projects in Austria and it was found that the price in Slovenia is competitive.

The second track will mean a significant increase in cargo for the Port of Koper. In 2014, the Port of Koper won the prestigious award from the European Seaports Association (ESPO) as the most environmentally friendly port, over Rotterdam, Lisbon, Marseilles and Spain's Huelva. What is important from the environmental perspective?

The Port of Koper has an excellent environmental policy and one of the measures is to move more cargo by rail. It is important to say that the Port of Koper has limited space for development and they will have to decide what types of cargo they will develop and encourage and on the other hand, to reject the cargo which is not so environmentally friendly. However, for example, we will still need to load the coal for the heating plant in Ljubljana, despite this creating quite a risk for pollution when the wind blows.


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