Dirk Beckers, Director of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) of the EU, has signed an agreement within the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Transport framework for the provision of 20% of funding for the construction of a second track on the Divača and Koper railway line in Slovenia. The remaining funds will be provided by the government of Slovenia. The track, which includes seven tunnels, will be constructed between 2018 and 2023.
The Mediterranean and Baltic-Adriatic Corridors are part of the core network of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T), made up of 50,762km of railway lines on the 138,072km comprehensive network distinguished by their strategic importance for major European and international transport flows. However, the current single-track line between Divača and Koper is a bottleneck which is hindering access for freight transport to the Port of Koper. Only 90 trains per day can use the line.
The distance between Divača and Koper will be reduced from 44.3km to 27km and the speed of travel will increase from 75 km/h to 160 km/h for passenger trains and up to 100 km/h for freight trains. These modifications will ultimately reduce travel times from 43–48 minutes to 15–21 minutes. The new design will be able to accommodate approximately 220 trains per day.
The project was proposed in answer to the CEF Transport Blending Call for Proposals in 2017, which included the reduction of bottlenecks in its priorities for funding. Beckers signed the agreement on 31 May in the presence of Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, and Miro Cerar, the Prime Minister of Slovenia.
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