The Slovenia Times

Key viaduct on Koper-Divača rail track completed

The Gabrovica viaduct on the future Koper-Divača rail track runs above the Črni Kal motorway viaduct. Photo: Boštjan Podlogar/STA

Slovenia's largest rail infrastructure project marked a key milestone on 12 December with the completion of a 416-metre-long viaduct that will serve the future Koper-Divača rail track 30 metres below Slovenia's tallest and longest motorway viaduct. The new railway is slated to open to traffic in 2026.

Running 27 kilometres in length but including more than 37 kilometres of tunnels and three viaducts, the €1.109 billion rail track will link the country's sole commercial port with the Divača railway junction and the rest of Slovenia and Europe.

Taking a completely new route to the existing railway between Koper and Divača, the new track is to increase the maximum throughput capacity from 94 to 212 trains daily and cut the distance from 44 kilometres to 27 kilometres.

The Gabrovica viaduct above the Osp Valley some 20 kilometres east of Koper runs below the Črni Kal motorway viaduct. Both were designed by internationally acclaimed bridge designer Marjan Pipenbaher.

Gabrovica is the second of the three viaducts on the track to have been completed. A third one is to be completed by the end of the month, according to Matej Oset, CEO of 2TDK, the company managing the rail project. In addition 31 out of 37 kilometres of tunnels on the track have been bored.

Addressing a ceremony marking the viaduct's completion, Prime Minister Robert Golob noted the importance of the new rail link for the economy and people's prosperity.

"I believe the track's construction will make the Koper port even more competitive, which will soon show through additional investments in the port," he said.

Apart from investments in the rail track and Koper port, he also noted reconstruction of the Ljubljana railway junction as those that should help Slovenia make the most out of its geographic position.

Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek said the main task at hand for the contractors is to continue the project at the set pace and standard, to "complete construction by the end of 2025 so as to allow the first train to run on the new track in 2026".

The track is being built by the Slovenian company Kolektor CPG and its Turkish partners Yapi Merkezi and Özaltin.

Bratušek confirmed that once the first track is built a second will be built to make the new railway double track. Work is under way to site the second track, which Bratušek said would cost "a few hundred million euros".

Jerneja Jug Jerše, the head of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia, noted the importance of the Koper-Divača rail track for the pan-European rail network and green transition.

The project is being funded with the help of a €250 million loan from the European Investment Bank and €289 million in EU grants.


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