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European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided a €22m loan to support the modernisation of Serbia’s state railways.

Funding will be used to upgrade infrastructure, as well as launch a new ticketing system and several measures to increase energy efficiency.

A total of €17m has been allocated to the expansion and modernisation of a railway depot in Zemun in Eastern Serbia.

This investment is expected to convert the depot into a central maintenance site for all trains operated by Serbia’s state railway company, Srbija Voz.

The rail depot will also be responsible for the maintenance of electric trains, which were purchased by the Serbian railways in Switzerland in 2015 with the support of an EBRD loan. Powered by electricity, the train units are equipped with self-propelled carriages.

“The new technology will enable more efficient and accurate data storage, improving productivity and cost savings.”

In December last year, EBRD signed a deal to provide the first instalment of the loan for the development of Zemun depot.

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By GlobalData

EBRD issued a statement saying: “A second portion of €5m will finance the acquisition of information technology systems to modernise enterprise resource planning, ticket sales and energy management.

“The current systems involve a high degree of manual and paper-based operations.

“However, the new technology will enable more efficient and accurate data storage, improving productivity and cost savings as well as making Srbija Voz more energy efficient.”

Serbian railways will introduce self-service ticket vending machines and sales via handheld devices and online as part of the new upgrade.

The upgrade is expected to improve fare collection processes and to obtain accurate information on passenger numbers.

A new energy management information system will be installed to help Srbija Voz reduce energy consumption.