EBRD and EU to invest in the upgrade of Kosovo’s railways

Marketa Horpeniakova, Published on 29/12/2022
EBRD and EU to invest in the upgrade of Kosovo’s railways
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Financial support from the EBRD and the EU is intended to help improve transport connectivity in the Western Balkans and promote a modal shift from road to rail as a greener mode of transport.

The EBRD and the EU are supporting the rehabilitation of Kosovo's rail network through significant financial investment. The railway system in Kosovo is in a poor condition and has serious structural constraints that limit traffic to 30-70 km/h. Insufficient investment in the modernization of the railway has led to its deterioration and the poor quality level of rail services has resulted in road transport being dominant.

Work is now underway to restore the main rail link between Kosovo and Serbia and Northern Macedonia. Once the 149-kilometer railway section is completed, trains will be able to reach speeds of up to 100 km/h and the overall upgrade will contribute to safer passenger and freight transport.

“We are delighted to see that Kosovo is moving forward with the rehabilitation of its railway, the largest investment in the country’s transport infrastructure for decades. It will connect Kosovo with the region and beyond and will help boost economic opportunities and make travel easier, safer and greener for its citizens,” said Neil Taylor, EBRD Head of Kosovo.

The Kosovo Rail Route 10 project is part of the Western Balkans core railway network and an extension of the TEN-T, which is part of the EU's wider efforts to promote transport connectivity in the Western Balkans and to support rail as a greener mode of transport.

The investment is being financed with a €40 million EBRD loan to Kosovo’s national railway company, Infrastruktura e Hekurudhave të Kosovës (Infrakos), and €42 million EIB loan. In addition, almost half of all project costs are expected to be covered by an EU investment grant of around €83 million through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF). The EBRD's total investment in the railway sector in the Western Balkans region will reach EUR 1 billion in 2022.

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