Greece and Albania’s plans for a modern railway network

Greece and Albania’s plans for a modern railway network

The investment is expected to be one billion dollars

Tirana, 15 September 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

Albania and Greece are trying to break the 25 year old tradition of road transport of people and goods, with a decision to build a modern railway network with electric trains.

Railways of Greece (OSE) and Railways of Albania (HSH) have agreed on collaborating to build a new railway line that links the Greek town of Florina on the border crossing point of Kapshtica with the city of Pogradec in the southeast of Albania.

Both countries have agreed on a ministerial level for the joint proposal, which is seen as very important for the facilitation of circulation of emigrants, the movement of tourists and the transport of goods.

Greek Ministry of Transport said that the project is expected to be supported by EU’s IPA funds, in the framework of the INTEREG-2 Program for the period 2014-2020.

The project for the railway line linking Albania to Greece will require a new line, which will only be one way and electrified.

According to the preliminary study, transport is expected to take place with an electric train.

For the Greek part alone, from the town of Florina to Kapshtica, which is 50 km long, the cost is expected to be around 397 million euros.

In the Albanian side, the railway line will stretch from the border crossing point of Kapshtica up to Pogradec, 61 km and the cost for this part is expected to be higher, taking the cost of the project to nearly 1 billion euros.

In Kapshtica, people often face long queues in both sides of the border.

This railway line is seen as a very good solution for many Albanians and Greeks. Linking Florina to Pogradec by train, different means of transport are thus enabled from one country to another. From Florina to the rest of Greece, where trains cross and from Pogradec to other cities of Albania through road transport. /