STA, 18 June 2019 - A deal was signed in Novo Mesto on Tuesday that is to pave the way for revitalisation of a hundred-year-old cross-border railway infrastructure connecting Ljubljana with Slovenian border towns and further with Croatia.
The agreement on cooperation was signed by representatives of nine Slovenian municipalities, including Ljubljana, and Croatia's Karlovac. The project will be coordinated by the Novo Mesto Development Centre.
According to the head of the centre, Franc Bratkovič, the municipalities will contribute more than EUR 100,000 for the project in the next couple of years. "We will do everything we can to have the project included in national and European documents," he said.
The goal of the initiative to revive the hundred-year-old cross border railway infrastructure connecting Ljubljana with the border towns and further with Croatia's Karlovac and later Zagreb, is to make the Slovenian railway network and the towns along the railway competitive, said Novo Mesto Mayor Gregor Macedoni.
The modernisation of the railway is to boost connectivity, international cooperation and regional development.
One of the initiators of the project that was conceived a year ago, Grosuplje Mayor Peter Verlič, said that it was a precondition for the setting up of the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation, which will enable the drawing of EU funds.
The modernisation of the railway, which is expected to be finalised in about ten years, will be funded from various sources.
In the initial phase, the railway track is to be modernised to allow for higher travelling speeds and heavier trains, train stations renovated and dangerous level crossings eliminated.
The next phase is to include electrification of the track and the purchase of ten modern trains.
The costs of the project have not been estimated yet, but Verlič said they would probably be similar to the costs of the modernisation of the Grosuplje-Kočevje railway.
Those costs reached almost EUR 100m.