Slovenia and Serbia for the improvement and acceleration of rail transport
The Minister of Infrastructure, Alenka Bratušek, hosted the Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Goran Vesić, on a working visit. They have agreed to propose the establishment of a joint standing committee with Croatia, Austria, and Italy, in order accelerate rail transport.
In the morning, the two ministers met at a bilateral meeting in Bled, and in the afternoon they had a meeting with the management of Slovenian Railways in Ljubljana. After the talks in Bled, the two Ministers emphasised that Slovenia and Serbia are friendly countries with no outstanding or unresolved issues. However, there is room to improve rail transport cooperation.
Minister Bratušek and Serbian Minister Vesić decided to inquire whether it is possible to reintroduce the night train from Ljubljana via Zagreb to Belgrade, and how to enhance rail transit cooperation between Italy, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia. "We have agreed to propose the establishment of a joint standing committee in order to determine how we can increase and, above all, accelerate passengers and freight transport by rail," said Minister Bratušek after the talks.
Minister Goran Vesić said that the interstate standing committee would coordinate works on the reconstruction of railway lines, draw up timetables, and carry out other activities in order to ensure high-speed railway connections on the route between Belgrade in Serbia and Vienna in Austria. Minister Vesić highlighted that this is important for all the countries on this route, as the connections would improve, people would travel more easily, and freight would be transported faster, and consequently this would also have a positive impact on the economy.
Minister Vesić welcomed the fact that Slovenia and Serbia agree that in the development of transport, emphasis should be placed on rail transport, which is relatively ecological and fast, and is supported by the European Union. As highlighted by Minister Vesić, it is crucial for Serbia to connect with Europe via the corridors passing through Slovenia.
As Minister Bratušek said, Slovenia is investing heavily in renovation of its railway infrastructure. This year, more than EUR 420 million will be allocated in this respect. She pointed out that the first renovations are definitely being carried out in the European corridors. She mentioned the construction of the Divača-Koper railway line, which will make Luka Koper more competitive, allowing freight to reach Serbia at an unprecedented speed.