While Albania builds, Macedonia waits for funds for a rail link


Albania is actively involved in the construction of the railroad from Corridor 8 in its part of the territory. On the move from Tirana to Durres, construction work is already under way, and in the final stage for the selection of a contractor for the reconstruction is the railway from Durrës to Elbasan.

The Director of the Public Railway Infrastructure “Railways of RSM” Irfan Asani says that local government has recently completed the documentation for the reconstruction project of the railway route from Elbasan to the Albanian-Macedonian border.

He points out that in 2017, our country has developed the entire project for the construction of the railway from Kicevo to the Albanian city of Lin. Preparation for the project documentation cost approximately 8 million euros, however, sources for financing of the future railway line of a length of 62.5 kilometers have yet to be found.

“The European Union has announced part of this money which will be given through the IPA program, but while we do not have anything specific, we can not say what and how,” Mr Asani tells “Meta”.

The head of the company responsible for the railway infrastructure believes that it is realistic to expect the train to Albania be put in operation by 2025, however, only if there is a will and way to realize that from the Macedonian side.

Regarding the route to Ohrid, Asani points out, there have been ideas to build a bridge to the city as part of the future line between the two countries, but such a railway connection to Ohrid will not be realized any time soon.

“It would be difficult to support such a thing, because many procedures have been prohibited. First of all, it has in an area which is ​​protected by Cultural Heritage and UNESCO”, emphasizes the Director of PE for Railway Infrastructure.

The project documentation for the construction of the railway from Kicevo to the Macedonian – Albanian border was run by the consortium of the French company “Louis Bergé ” and Spanish company “Tisa”. The future railway line to Albania would consist of a narrow-gauge electrified railroad, but the line between Skopje and Kicevo, which previously needed proper reconstruction, needs to be electrified.

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