World Bank to help Serbia construct secure, climate-friendly railway system

WCN Editorial Team 18 Mar 2021 EUROPE TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

Serbia’s focus on secure, climate-friendly and better-connected railway infrastructure development will be supported by the World Bank, as the European nation plans to upgrade its 3,735 km rail network.

The World Bank Board of Directors has approved Phase 1 of the Serbia Railway Sector Modernization Project and will be funding $62.5m out of the project’s total budget of $400m.

Phase 1 of this multi-phase project will be equally funded by 50% joint co-financer the French Development Agency, bringing the total investment for this phase to $125m.

World Bank Country Manager for Serbia Stephen Ndegwa stated: “Serbia’s rail network is a major asset for the country with the potential to play a strategic role in the nation’s growth and job opportunities. The programme will lead to better quality infrastructure, improved safety, enhanced in-country and regional integration, accelerated economic growth, and an improved business environment in the region.”

“A renewed and modernised rail network will become an essential part of transforming multi-modal transport in the country and the programme is fully aligned with Serbia’s European Union accession agenda, including its commitment to the EU’s Green Deal and climate neutrality, which envisions a 90% reduction in transport emissions.”

Serbia’s rail modernisation project mainly focuses on increasing network utilisation by %, reducing fatalities by 23%; and increasing market share of national cargo rail over the next decade by 10%.

The three stages of the project will involve asset management and infrastructure investments, strengthening initiatives for the sector’s institutions, and efforts to modernise Serbia’s railways.

Serbia has plans to invest nearly $4bn over the next 10 years in its rail network, which comprises total electrification of its railway tracks, total implementation of the European Railway Traffic Management System, removing speed restrictions, improving the core network’s freight line capacity, and upgrading the management of rail assets.

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Serbia’s focus on secure, climate-friendly and better-connected railway infrastructure development will be supported by the World Bank, as the European nation plans to upgrade its 3,735 km rail network. Credit: Nemanja Stevic/Unsplash.

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