Radovljica – An upgrade of the rail track between Kranj and Jesenice, a key section that connects Slovenia’s rail system to Austria, was officially inaugurated on Friday as the first project part-financed from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility.
The EUR 166 million project, which started a year and a half ago and will be completed in May, once all sound barriers have been installed, involved upgrades of track and other infrastructure and will allow higher train speeds.
EUR 109.5 million came from the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and EUR 37 million from the Climate Fund.
The initial plan was to upgrade a shorter section, from Kranj to Podnart, but when additional funding became available it was decided to expand the project given that international rail traffic had to be suspended on the route in any case, according to Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec.
Jerneja Jug Jerše, the head of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia, said the rail upgrade was a major contribution to sustainable mobility and green transition.
“The fight against climate change is the challenge of our generation. We are at a turning point when we can provide for a green and healthy future with decisive and well conceived action,” she said.
Both Jug Jerše and Vrtovec noted that increasing rail transport is a key element of the green transition in transport.
Additional projects are already planned, including the construction of a second track on this route. Once that is completed, trains will be able to run every 15 minutes from Kranj to Ljubljana and more people will opt for trains rather than cars, said Vrtovec.