Serbian state railway company Srbija Voz is set to receive a €100m loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the purchase of up to 18 trains.

The company will use the loan amount to procure four-car coaches that will provide regional passenger services on the electrified sections of the rail network.

The latest upgrade work is part of Srbija Voz’s network and services modernisation, with EBRD as a key partner.

Srbija Voz acting general manager Jugoslav Jović said: “Thanks to excellent assistance and cooperation we have had with the EBRD, and with the support of the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Finance and the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Srbija Voz will implement another project to be financed by the EBRD, and that is the acquisition of new electro-motor units for regional traffic.

“This project will improve the organisation, quality and cost-effectiveness of passenger transport services in regional rail transport, and will enable safer and more comfortable rail transport for passengers.”

The company launched a major modernisation of its network and services in the early 2000s. The EBRD was one of the key partners in this process.

It has also supported Srbija Voz in expanding and upgrading a railway depot in Zemun. The company also improved its IT systems, energy management and ticket sales.

Using loans provided by the EBRD, Serbian railway already bought passenger coaches and freight wagons.

EBRD has so far offered more than €1bn to Serbia for investments in sustainable infrastructure.