The extension of the Orient/East-Med Corridor into the Western Balkans along Route 4 is approximately 580 km long and runs from Vrsac (Serbia – Romania border) to Belgrade (Serbia) and then to Podgorica and Bar (Montenegro). Bar – Vrbnica (the latter at the Montenegro – Serbia border) is the most important section of the Montenegrin rail network, carrying about 20% of all passengers and about 60% of the cargo. Rail as a whole is an important part of the Montenegrin economy, accounting for almost 60% of all freight and 10% of passenger travel.
The Bar – Vrbnica route opened to traffic in 1976 and since then there has been no major overhaul of the signalling systems nor of the numerous bridges and tunnels located on this route. Montenegro has however commenced planning for the rehabilitation and modernization of the entire railway track since the early 2000s, with assistance from the European Union, the European Investment Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The EU, through the WBIF and National IPA, has allocated more than €13 million to the preparation of concrete investment packages as well as urgent rehabilitation works along slopes in danger of landslides. In addition, under the Connectivity Agenda, the EU has allocated more than €20 million to cover 50% of the costs associated with the installation of modern signalling and telecommunication systems in and around Podgorica as well as the rehabilitation of 29 concrete bridges and 20 tunnels. Work on the signalling systems commenced in January 2018 while concrete bridges rehabilitation is currently under tendering.
|Beneficiary Contribution||Own Contribution||€ 500,000|
|EU||External Grant||€ 3,000,000|
|Potential WBIF investment grant||External Grant||€ 25,000,000|
|Potential future EU/WBIF grant||External Grant||€ 920,000|
|National Contribution||Own Contribution||€ 300,000|
|Total Grants||€ 68,756,396|
|Total Loans||€ 131,660,000|