Serbia has received a loan of $800m from Russia for railway infrastructure projects in the country.
The loan will be used for the construction of the second track and electrification of the €50m Belgrade-Pancevo railway that is scheduled to start by the end of 2012.
Russia’s loan will also be used for reconstruction works on Corridor 10 in six sections that are estimated to cost €55m, allowing trains to run at speeds of 160km/h from March 2013.
The loan also includes the purchase of new diesel trains worth €100m from Russia, construction of a 68km railway line between Valjevo and Loznica in western Serbia for €275m, as well as the €200m reconstruction of the rail link from Belgrade to Bar.
In two weeks, the Republic Revision Commission is expected to release a positive report on the preliminary design for the construction of the Beograd-Pancevo railway line; the Serbian government will provide expropriation funds.
Serbian Railways expects to offer specific contracts in early 2013 for the projects in view of their complexity and the work volume involved.
In March 2012, Serbian Railways and Russian Railways (RZD) signed an agreement on projects to modernise rail traffic in Serbia.
The agreement will see construction of new rail routes and reconstruction of old ones, and the projects are expected to be launched late in 2012.
Under the framework agreement, Zarubezhstroytechnology, an engineering and construction unit of RZD, will be the main contractor for the Belgrade-Pancevo line, while 30% of materials and work will be supplied by Serbian companies.