The Vorë-Hani i Hotit railway line, which runs between the town of Vorë in the central part of Albania and the state border with Montenegro, lies on the indicative extension of the Core Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) in the Western Balkans (Rail Route 2). The rehabilitation of this line, identified as a priority investment Flagship 3 ‘Connecting the Coastal Regions’ in the Economic and Investment Plan for Western Balkans, is one of the flagship projects endorsed for financing by the Western Balkans Investment Framework in 2022.
An approximately 120 km long Vorë-Hani i Hotit single-track line, which was built in two stages – between early 1960s and 1985, has not benefited from any major overhaul since its commissioning. The existing track infrastructure is in poor condition with the maximum operating trains’ speed of 35-40 km/h. The signalling and controlled safety system along the line is almost non-existent. Currently the line is out of operation, due to the structural damages on Ishmi Bridge caused by the 2019 earthquake.
To support the Vorë-Hani i Hotit rehabilitation project, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is providing a loan of up to EUR 63 million to the Government of the Republic of Albania. The Project will be jointly co-financed with a loan from the European Investment Bank in the amount of EUR 63 million and an investment grant in the amount of EUR 134 million from the EU under the WBIF; a total of around EUR 260 million (excluding the electrification and potential price increase due to the recent market fluctuations). The additional investment, needed for construction of the electrification of the line, is estimated to approx. EUR 50 million.
The CONNECTA assignment complements the final preparations of the rehabilitation project. The main objective of CONNECTA’s assignment is to prepare the Preliminary (Tender) Design for the electrification sub-system to be integrated as Design & Build activity into the Project’s Works Tender Documents for the entire Vorë-Hani i Hotit line. The tasks are in line with the TEN-T requirements and follow the strategic decision of the Government of the Republic of Albania to electrify the country’s railway network. The Preliminary (Tender) Design will be based on the technical solutions included in the Main Design for the electrification of the line Tirana-Durrës-Rinas in order to ensure full harmonisation of the sub-system along the Albanian rail routes.
To mark the start of CONNECTA’s sub-project ‘Technical Assistance for preparation of Preliminary (Tender) Design for electrification of the railway line Vorë-Hani i Hotit’, a kick-off meeting was held on 31 October 2022. The meeting was attended by the representatives of the Albanian Railways, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, JASPERS and the CONNECTA team.
Additional information on the assignment can be obtained by contacting Chris Germanacos, CONNECTA Team Leader, at email@example.com.