International conference “Railway investment in South East Europe”, dedicated to infrastructure and transport investment in railway traffic and to international railway Corridor development with an emphasis on Corridor 10, has started today, on 14th June, in Continental Hotel in Belgrade. Organizer of the conference is English company “Russell Publishing”, publisher of several trade magazines, among others also of the European “Railway Review” dedicated to railway traffic, and the hosts are “Serbian Railways” and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy of the Republic of Serbia. The conference brought together many local and European experts, railway operators, representatives of railway managements, as well as representatives of banks, who will have an opportunity during the two-day meeting to exchange experiences and find solutions to improve the operability of the railway traffic in the region and generally.
The conference participants were welcomed by the Chairman Harold Hotz, Head of department for network access of Austrian OBB-Infrastruktur AG, and the introductory speech was held by Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Energy for Railway, Dejan Lasica. On this occassion Lasica said, that after the construction works on Corridor 10 are completed, the main goal will be railways and proper reform and investment process, and he also highlighted the efforts of the Serbian Government in the maintenance od the railway system.
Director General of “Serbian Railways”, Milovan Markovic, talked about business activity of “Serbian Railways”, their perspective and necessary investments. „ For railway modernization on Serbian territory and reaching the speed of up to 160km/h is necessary €4,6 billion, and except money, quality projects and time are required”, explained Markovic. Talking about the railway system slowness in our country and necessary but hardly obtainable investment, Markovic said “better running slowly than abrupt braking”, refering the required time for local railway modernization.
Deputy Director General for Infrastructure and Operations of “Serbian Railways”, Predrag Jankovic, presented the infrastructure and operation condition and perspective of Serbian railways, providing the realistic preview of the current situation and opportunities, as well as detailed analysis of local railway condition in past 15 years. Jankovic has mentioned many issues and encouraged participants to discuss and exchange opinions.
On the second conference day, there will be word about regional and South East Europe investment, rolling stock, harmonization of Serbian legislation with EU laws in the railway sector, Sustainable Development and Transport Master Plan for Serbia. Operations Directorate Director of “Serbian Railways”, Dragan Grujic, Director of Directorate for Railways of the Republic of Serbia, Slobodan Rosic, Senior Banker of EBRD Transport Team, Lin O´Grady, Director of Center for Sustainable Developmentin of “Serbian Railways”, Dragan Marinkovic, and representatives of railway managements in countries in the region will take part in this discussion.