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Bus and train: new moves in the Alps-Adriatic region

Where is public transport in Slovenia going? © Viola / pixelio.de

Public transport between Italy, Austria and Slovenia is moving forward. The consequences remain to be seen.

At the end of February Slovenia submitted three railway projects for financing to the European Union, including the currently hotly-debated “Track Two” project. This plans to extend the rail line from the Slovenian port of Koper to Divača. The high cost of EUR 1.4 billion for a second, new line is being justified on the grounds that it will promote freight transport overall while the port will be strategically connected to Europe and new jobs and economic added value will be created in Slovenia. The route will also be used for passenger transport.

From an environmental point of view it is generally worthwhile to shift traffic  from road to rail. The objection here is that the project will cost too much money, while the modernisation of the rest of Slovenia’s railway system will be shunted to one side. This would also affect rail routes in the Slovenian Alps. In view of the high cost, the country should perhaps consider whether investment would be better directed towards railway projects with passenger transport as a priority.

There are already cross-border projects that show that an alternative exists in the Alps-Adriatic region, for example the direct bus connection opened last year between Ljubljana and Klagenfurt in the Austrian state of Carinthia. These two capitals are now directly accessible by a public bus service, creating an opportunity to stimulate tourism and economic activity on both sides. There is also more traffic using the interregional railway link between Villach in Austria and Udine in Italy, with 2014 seeing a 21% increase in rail journeys.

Sources: http://kaernten.orf.at/news/stories/2692485/ (de), http://kaernten.orf.at/news/stories/2648780/ (de), http://www.ferrovieudinecividale.it/progetto-mi-co-tra (it), http://www.delo.si/novice/slovenija/dosje-drugi-tir.html (it), https://www.dnevnik.si/1042705886/posel/novice/nevarne-igre-z-drugim-tirom (sl), https://www.dnevnik.si/1042706910/mnenja/odprta-stran/drugi-tir-koperdivaca (sl), http://www.delo.si/sobotna/vlak-za-prihodnost-odpelje-z-drugega-tira.html (sl), http://www.delo.si/gospodarstvo/infrastruktura/zelo-malo-moznosti-za-drugi-tir.html (sl), https://www.dnevnik.si/1042707950/slovenija/slovenija-ze-oddala-vlogo-za-evropska-sredstva-za-drugi-tir (sl), http://www.mladina.si/164616/drugi-tir/ (sl)