A second track along the Divača-Koper railway line is aimed to eliminate traffic congestion on the core Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) corridors in Slovenia – Baltic-Adriatic and the Mediterranean.

The project is being developed by 2TDK, Družba za razvoj projekta, which was established by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in March 2016. The company received a concession contract for the construction and management of the project in May 2019.

The Divača–Koper section is a high-capacity link between the Port of Koper and the wider European railway network and forms part of the Trans-European transport network.

Construction work on the new railway track commenced in March 2019, with completion scheduled for 2025. The track will enter service in 2026.

Need for second track on the Divaca-Koper railway line

The existing line on the Divača-Koper section is a 44.6km-long single-track electrified railway line that is the only one between the Port of Koper and the hinterland. Built in 1967, the line receives 70% of freight from Koper to Divača and 30% in the opposite direction.

Both transport and throughput capacities of the existing line are being affected due to maintenance and modernisation works, technical equipment, summer forest fires and rock falls, which have led to the need for a modern, high-capacity railway link to be constructed.

The new track will help meet core network standards set by the EU Council for 2030.

Divaca-Koper railway line track-doubling details

The second track of the Divača-Koper railway line will have a 27.1km-long single track line between Divača on the Kras Plateau to the coastal city of Koper.

The new track will run through eight tunnels, designated T1 to T8, that have a combined length of 20.5km. It will feature two viaducts at Gabrovica and Vinjan with lengths of  452m and 647m respectively.

The track will cross the Glinščica valley through two bridges in a closed box structure with lengths of 70m and 100m. A 45m-long gallery with retaining wall will be built between the two bridges.

The track will allow for a maximum operating speed of 160km/h.

Signalling and communication

The second track of the Divaca-Koper railway line will be installed with European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS) / European Train Control System (ETCS) level 2 to provide signalling and control for trains.

The track will also be equipped with Global System for Mobile Communications-Railway (GSM-R), video surveillance and security, and powering devices to ensure safe operation.

Construction details

The decree for the second track of the Divača-Koper railway line was adopted by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in 2005 and amended in 2014. The financing programme was approved in January 2019.

“Built in 1967, the line receives 70% of freight from Koper to Divača and 30% in the opposite direction.”

Access roads for the route of the second track of the Divača-Koper railway line started to be constructed in March 2019.

Construction is currently underway on two roads, which will provide access to the northern portal’s first tunnel in the Lokev area, and another two roads that will allow access to the fourth tunnel portals in the Tinjan hill.

Access roads will be handed over to local communities upon completion in the first half of 2020.

Financing for the Divaca-Koper line track-doubling

The total estimated investment of the track-doubling of the Divača–Koper railway line is €1.19bn ($1.33bn), which includes €1.15bn ($1.28bn) that will be spent for the construction of the track and up to €32m ($35.7m) for interest, fees and other costs. The remaining will be towards 2TDK’s operational expenses.

A large portion of the investment will be provided by the Government of Slovenia in the form of capital contribution, which includes €122m ($136m) from the tolls collected on freight vehicles and €200m ($223m) from the state budget. An additional €200m ($223m) will be provided either from the state budget or in co-operation with another country.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) committed to providing €250m ($279m), while international financial institutions and SID banka will provide a loan of €250m ($279m).

A loan of €167m ($186.4m) will be provided by commercial banks and up to €6m will come from increased user fees on core network corridors in Slovenia.

The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) will provide Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Transport funding of €109m ($121.5m) for the project.

Contractors involved

2TDK awarded an €11.9m ($13.2m) contract to Kolektor CPG and Euroasfalt BIH in January 2019 for the construction of 20km of access roads for the second track project.

DIS Consulting provided consulting services for the construction of the Divača-Koper railway line.

Elea iC carried out the geological and geotechnical research for the project.