Green light for the second railway track to Koper

The new line will be 27.1 kilometers long, with eight tunnels (a total of 20.5 kilometers in length) and two viaducts

Green light for the second railway track to Koper

The Slovenian government has approved the investment programme for the Divača–Koper line project. The document examines the economic and financial viability of the project. In the assessment of Deloitte, the company charged with preparing the programme, investment in a Divača–Koper line is economically and financially justified.

The investment programme for the construction and operation of a second track between Divača and Koper envisages the construction of the line between 2019 and 2025, with the new track coming into operation at the beginning of 2026.  The cost of the construction of the Divača–Koper line is estimated to be EUR 1.194 billion, which includes construction costs of EUR 1.150 billion, interest costs, fees and other costs of EUR 32 million, and running costs for the 2TDK company of EUR 12 million.

If there is no participation by hinterland countries, central government will invest EUR 522 million of capital in the project design company 2TDK. EUR 122 million will be invested by 2026; this will come from a surcharge on freight vehicle tolls. It will invest at least EUR 200 million from the budget in the capital of 2TDK (EUR 400 million if there is no participation by a hinterland country). If there is participation in the project by a hinterland country, central government’s EUR 200 million investment in 2TDK is planned to take place in 2021 and 2022.

The remainder of the funds required to complete the new line will, it is envisaged, come from European grants (EUR 250 million), loans from international financial institutions and SID banka (EUR 250 million) and loans from commercial banks (EUR 167 million). EUR 6 million will come from an increase in fees for users of railway lines in the Slovenian core network; these will be collected while the new track is being constructed.

The investment programme foresees the original single-track line being upgraded to a two-track line in the future. It therefore takes into account the requirement to increase the diameter of three service tunnels accordingly.

The project will be paid for in full with new levies to be paid by infrastructure users. Carriers of freight by road, rail and through the Port of Koper will pay a surcharge on the toll and throughput tax, in addition to a usage fee for the second track and an increased usage fee on the core (TEN-T) network.

The operations in the Port of Koper and its competitive advantage depend on efficient railway services. The modal split is manly in favour of rail transport, with 59 percent of the goods that arrived or left the port on rail (based on 2018 figures). As two thirds of the cargo in Koper port gravitate to the markets of Central and Eastern Europe, additional rail connections are key to the further development.,