Koper Track Repaired After Derailment & Kerosene Spill, Water Supply Still Safe

By , 15 Aug 2019, 10:30 AM News
SŽ class 363 between Črnotiče and Hrastovlje SŽ class 363 between Črnotiče and Hrastovlje Wikimedia Kabelleger - David Gubler GNU Free Licence

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STA, 13 August 2019 - Nearly two months after almost 11,000 litres of kerosene leaked from a derailed cargo train near the village of Hrastovlje in the south-west, the national railways operator completed repair works on Tuesday.

The final stage of works saw one of Slovenia's busiest routes closed since last Saturday, reopening tonight, as Slovenske Železnice replaced 150 metres of tracks.

The track reopened already four days after the 25 June derailment, but there was a speed limit in place in the tunnel where the accident took place.

Apart from replacing the tracks, the railway operator has also installed additional tarps under the tracks and improved the drainage system in the tunnel.

Some 11,000 litres of kerosene leaked from two damaged cisterns after six cars derailed in the tunnel of Dol due to a broken rail switch.

Shutting down the only track connecting the port of Koper with the rest of the country, many believe the incident showed that Slovenia really needed an additional railway link between Koper and the railway hub of Divača, a project that is finally underway after decades of back and forth.

Moreover, the accident happened quite close to the main source of potable water for the entire coastal region, whose population soars from 90,000 to about 130,000 during the summer. The water source is being monitored closely and so far no kerosene has been found in water.

In total, the repair works cost the rail operator EUR 1.5 million, the public broadcaster TV Slovenija reported on Monday. Moreover, the company suffered a loss of more than EUR 1 million per each day the track was fully closed.

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