The first large scale overhaul of the railway network in Albania is ready to start with the signing of a first contract for rehabilitation works between the state railways and the Italian company INC Spa. The project is supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development with a EUR 36.9 million loan and the European Union with an investment grant of up to EUR 35.5 million under its Connectivity Agenda for the Western Balkans. Additional EUR 2.75 million in grants from bilateral donors have been secured through the Western Balkans Investment Framework.
Under the contract more than 34 km of the existing railway track between the capital Tirana and the port of Durres will be rehabilitated. Additionally, a new 5 km-long rail track connecting Tirana city to the Tirana International Airport will be constructed. The rehabilitation will allow for safer and faster travel compared to the current average of less than 60 km per hour.
The project will also improve connectivity with in the country and regional integration. Durres is the country’s largest port and an important regional hub for international trade.