EU to lend €325m for 120km Albania rail line

A shepherd in a forest in Vorë, central Albania (Daniel Reiner/Dreamstime)
Albania has been awarded loans worth €325m to fund the modernisation of a 120km rail link between Vorë in the centre of the country to Hani i Hotit in its northwest, on the border with Montenegro.

The scope of work includes electrification, the reconstruction of 12 stations, the installation of a telecoms and signalling system, and safety improvements that will allow trains to travel at up to 120km/h.

The line will act as an extension of the Mediterranean Corridor Trans-European Network. It will also link Albania’s capital Tirana with Montenegro’s capital Podgorica, and form the only railway between Albania and the rest of Europe.

Although Albania is not a member state of the EU, funding was approved under the Team Europe initiative. It combines $100m from global arm of the European Investment Bank, a €126m grant from the EU’s Western Balkans Investment Framework and a €99m loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

André Rizzo, EU business manager for Albania, said: “As Albania and the region move forward on their path to EU integration, people can already experience concrete benefits of this process.

“The railway line will bring faster and safer travel for both cargo and passengers along the Adriatic coast.”

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