| KEY INFORMATION ABOUT NIŠ–BRESTOVAC PROJECT
RECONSTRUCTION OF NIŠ–BRESTOVAC SINGLE-TRACK LINE
The Niš–Brestovac railway section (Niš–Preševo – Macedonian border part of the railway) belongs to the south part of the pan-European Corridor X and bears great importance for the regional and international transport.
The lack of network and inadequate maintenance of railways over the last 35 years are the main reasons for the bottlenecks and poor quality of railway transport services in the Republic of Serbia. In order to mitigate the deterioration of the railway network and enable the operation of the railway infrastructure in these conditions, speed limits were introduced and resulted in reduced railway capacity. Today, the average speed on the Niš–Brestovac line is down to 12 to 31 mph.
The Niš–Brestovac section
The project is aimed at developing the railway infrastructure on this section, for a speed of 74 mph. Also, the integration of the most important international railway line of the pan-European Corridor X through Serbia, which the Niš–Brestovac section is part of.
The purpose of the European Union’s support to the Serbian transport sector is to promote sustainable economic growth and ensure the interoperability and connectivity of South European countries with the rest of Europe. The development of an integrated European railway network requires interoperability (technical compatibility) of the infrastructure, rolling stock, signalling, and other subsystems of the railway system, as well as simplified procedures for rolling stock authorisation through the EU railway network.
Over the years, national railways developed different technical specifications for their infrastructure. Different track widths, electrification standards, and signalling and safety systems make the movement of trains from one country to another difficult and costly. The EU has specific regulations to promote interoperability and overcome these differences.
- Increasing the quality and reliability of the pan-European railway Corridor X through Serbia;
- Reducing travel time at design speeds of up to 74 mph;
- Enabling time saving for passengers thanks to greater efficiency, improved operation, and punctuality of trains;
- Increasing rail and traffic capacities (which will contribute to significant increase in the volume of passengers and cargo by 25%);
- Improving the railway’s safety and security by installing a modern signalling and telecommunications system;
- Increasing the appeal of the railway and regaining the market share that was lost to other modes of transport;
- Ensuring the interoperability of trains within the pan-European railway network;
- Developing a sustainable multimodal transport network in Southeast Europe;
- Increasing the competitiveness of international freight transport and its growth potential as a service provider for the European economy and environmentally friendly logistics throughout Europe;
- Achieving the objectives under the EU Guidelines for the development of the trans-European transportation network by 2030;
- Implementing the 4th Railway Package, composed of six legal texts intended to establish a single market for rail services (Single European Rail Area);
- Restoring the railway sector and competitiveness in relation to other modes of transport;
- Ensuring compliance with the Regulation on the European Rail Network for Competitive Freight EU 913/2010.
Within the EU PPF program, the EU PPF8 project unit’s expert team produced the tender documentation for the procurement procedure in accordance with EU PRAG or IFI requirements, FIDIC Yellow Book regulations, as well as draft financing application for the works on the Niš–Brestovac railway section with the total length of 14 miles.
The reconstruction and modernization of this section in the south of Serbia includes reconstruction and modernization of the substructure and the superstructure of the Niš–Brestovac line, some station tracks and platforms, and road crossings, reconstruction and modernisation of catenaries (overhead line) and power supply, reconstruction and modernization of signalling and safety and telecommunications installations, bridges, and culverts, water protection, and railway drainage. This section has three stations and four stops:
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