The Slovenia Times

New Koper-Divača railway to get second track by 2030

One of the viaducts of the new Koper-Divača railway runs below Slovenia's tallest motorway viaduct. Photo: 2TDK

As work on Slovenia's biggest infrastructure project, a new railway between the Koper port and the Divača junction, is slowly nearing its completion, the government has set out plans to start building a parallel track in 2026. The new single-track line is slated to open to traffic later the same year, becoming double track by 2030.

All seven tunnels on the new 27-kilometre railway line have been bored and all three viaducts completed, with the project slated for completion early in 2026 before opening to traffic later that year.

Now the government has adopted amendments to legislation governing the project to provide the legal basis for its upgrade into a double-track railway.

While the ongoing project is valued at €1.109 billion, the construction of the parallel track is estimated to cost €354 million, VAT excluded.

Once a second track on the new railway is completed, which the Infrastructure Ministry says will happen by 2030, the single-track railway currently in use, which follows a completely different route, is set to be converted into a bicycle path.

Goal to improve traffic safety and throughput

The ministry launched an initiative to change the relevant national spatial plan to enable the construction of a two-track line after the construction work on the new railway line began in 2021.

A double-track line s expected to have many positive effects on the throughput and safety of railway traffic. The additional track is to improve the freight transit connections from Koper to Hungary, Austria, Germany and Ukraine, and could take over part of the road traffic from the port.

"The Koper-Divača line is the biggest infrastructure project in our country. It is running according to the schedule and within the financial frameworks set in the investment plan," Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek said as she presented the double track plans on 8 July.

The bill adopted by the government on 4 July provides a legal basis for the state-owned company 2TDK to obtain a concession for the construction and management of the new parallel track under the same conditions that apply to the single-track line that is under construction.

Funds to come from EU grants and loans

The ministry proposes that the option of another country participating in the ownership and management of 2TDK be struck out from the legislation. "Slovenia is a sovereign country that is capable of building its infrastructure itself," Bratušek said.

2TDK is to obtain funds for the project mainly from EU grants, which applies in particular to preparatory work. It will also be acquiring loans.

According to the government, preparatory work for the parallel track will start at the end of this year, and construction will start in 2026.

The government said that risks in the project are relatively low, since the sensitive karst terrain will not be affected by the excavation work, as an expansion to a double track had been taken into account in the project.

The council for civilian oversight of the project has hailed the decision to build a second track, but its head Jadran Bajec told TV Slovenija they thought the timeline was too ambitious, considering all the paperwork and public tenders involved.

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


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