528 kilometres of railroad to be built in next three years

528 kilometres of railroad to be built in next three years

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic stated on Friday that 528 kilometres of railroad would be built in the next three years, 80 kilometres of which will be new tracks, while the rest of the railroad would be reconstructed and modernised.

The value of railway projects that are currently underway totals EUR 1.2 billion, she said.

During the summit of China and 16 East European countries due to be held in Belgrade in December, the Serbian prime minister will sign a document on a new project with the prime ministers of China and Hungary which covers the modernisation of the existing railways that will adjust the system for speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour, and the construction of a new track for speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour on the Belgrade-Budapest section, Mihajlovic said.

The Serbian Railways company announced that the reform would be completed by January 1, so that cooperation with special companies for railway infrastructure and transport would begin in 2015.

Addressing a meeting on railway development in the Western Balkans, Mihajlovic warned that Serbia holds the 92nd place on the world economic forum list of competitiveness which ranks 121 countries according to the efficiency of railway transport.

Noting that the Serbian Railways record as few as EUR 100 million worth of revenues annually, Mihajlovic said that the figure could be much higher.

She said that a new law on railways is currently being drafted and should be completed by the end of the year so that it could be adopted in the first quarter of 2015.

Mihajlovic noted that the aim is for the railways to begin operating with increased efficiency, adding that the subsidies for the railway system would be reduced.