– Up to May 1, 2012, in accordance with the Plan of the Government of Serbia, the road Corridor X and the first phase of works on the most important railway direction through Serbia will be completed, – Milutin Mrkonjic, the Minister of Infrastructure, announced on January 22, during the opening of the eleventh Steering Committee meeting for Corridor X in Belgrade.
“Serbian Railways” were the host of the event, whereas the Steering Committee for the Corridor X is composed of the representatives from all the countries through which this European communication track is running. Mrkonjić said that the financial structure for the construction of the highway was closed, because the amount of €1.3 billion was provided out of the loan and the budget.
– The value of the first phase of works on the railway part of the Corridor X amounts to € 1.1 billion. The additional amount of 3.5 billion euros is necessary for the completion of the second phase of works up to 2015, so that there could be double-track line in its entire length, enabled for the speeds of 160 km per hour, – Mrkonjic pointed out.
According to his words, Serbia will make an attempt to nominate the Corridor XI as the new one, stretching from Temisvar via Belgrade and Podgorica to Bari, or at least as the part of Corridor X. He explained that the amount of $800 million from the Russian loan will be allocated mainly for the works related to the railway, but he added that this loan was conditioned by the engagement of Russian companies for the realization of the entire project. Mrkonjić pointed out that the plans for the investment in the by-pass line around Belgrade “have halted” the negotiations with Russia, because the Russian side wanted the all money to be invested in the railway.
Double-track lines for 160 kilometres per hour
– Serbia has the option according to which the part of the Russian loan in the amount of approx. $170 million would be invested in the construction of bypass line, whereas the remaining $ 630 million would be invested in the railway. The Russians are very interested in participating in the construction of the Beograd Centar railway station in Prokop, and I expect for the negotiations related to this loan to be sucessfully completed, – Mrkonjić said.
– Owing to the loan granted by the European Investment Bank in the amount of od €80 million last year Serbian Railways initiated the process of reconstruction of 93 km of line on the Corridor X on the Batajnica-Golubinci, Gilje-Ćuprija sections within which the bridge on the Morava river will be constructed between Belgrade and Nis and Ćele Kula – Staničenje, on Niš – Dimitrovgrad line, – said Milovan Marković, Director General of “Serbian Railways”.
He reminded that the works on the complete reconstruction of 21 km of the Batajnica-Golubinci line finished at the end of last year and that the train are able to run on this section at the speed of 160 km per hour. The total value of works on the modernization of the Batajnica – Golubinci line amounts to more than € 30 million, however 31 km of line was overhauled and constructed including the construction of the new line between Stara Pazova and Golubinci in the length of 7.4 kilometres. Stara Pazova –Golubinci section is one of the sections between Belgrade and Šid, on which the trains were running on the single-track line.
The Steering Committee President for the Corridor X George Patsiavos, pointed out that there is highway on 70% of the road Corridor and that he expected that six lanes will account for 95% of the Corridor x up to 2015.
Border stopping time is to be reduced
-The operative problems related to the border crossings on the Corridor are to be quickly solved. With very low investments, the journey time and transport costs could be significantly reduced- Patsiavos pointed out.
Slobodan Rosić, Railway Directorate Director announced that in the middle of February the reform plan concerning railway will be published which shall consist of two segments. The first segment refers to institutional and legal reforms, because the Supplement of the Law on Railways and the implementation of European norms are forthcoming. Two regulations are under preparation, in one the obligation of the public service will be regulated, whereas the second regulation will govern the determination of track access charges methodology, which will enable the introduction of competition in the railway traffic. According to Mr. Rosic, the second segment of the reforms refer to reorganization in the railway itself, which should make it more competitive.
– Railway reforms were stopped in the period between 2004 and 2008, which led to the decline in investments. However, as soon as the intensive preparations for the modernization of the traffic system began last year, the international banks reacted and showed willingness ti finance the process, – Rosić pointed out.
Plan of reforms
On the press conference our country was represented by State Secretary in the Ministry for Infrastructure Slavoljub Vukićević, PhD, and assistant of the Minister for Infrastructure Dejan Lasica, as well as representatives of „Putevi Srbije“.
Representatives of every countries through which this international communication track passes through were present on the meeting of the Steering Committee of Corridor X: Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Macedonia, as well as representatives of European Commission – DG TREN and SEETO Offices in Belgrade. During the working part of the meeting, Steering Committee discussed the current activities of the states along the Corridor, activities on the application of the agreement about railway network of high performances and application of new concept of development of priority transport network.
The expert teams from corridor X in Belgrade held eight meeting of the Working group of Corridor X for border crossings, where they discussed the situation on the cross border crossings and applied improvements related to the previous period.