Railway line in the V B corridor

BOTOVO – ZAGREB – KARLOVAC – RIJEKA

The line Rijeka-Zagreb-Botovo at the border with Hungary is a very important one in connecting three ample geographical areas: central, mountainous and littoral Croatia. The beginning of the construction works for this very important railway line is planned for the year 2007 with a deadline of 5 to 6 years.

Due to its traffic-geographical position this line enters the European global and regional traffic courses in linking the Central European space with the northern Adriatic.

The natural conditions of the AdriaticĀ“s cutting into the Central European space with the Rijeka port area, suitable even for ships with maximum draft, offers great possibilities and creates exceptional presumptions for traffic economic valorization of a larger significance. Besides its position, the attractiveness of the sea port primarily depends on the speed of the cargo handling within the harbour complex, and especially depends on the speed and capacity of delivery and shipping of goods.

Rail traffic is irreplaceable and of high priority in servicing a harbour from the land side. The construction of the valley railway line Rijeka-Josipdol-Karlovac, along with the reconstruction of the Karlovac-Zagreb section, would create fundamental preconditions for a fast, safe and, according to capacity, satisfying delivery and dispatch of goods into the Rijeka port.

According to our assumptions, the capacity of the Rijeka port would reach over 30 million tonnes of cargo per annum, compared to the current cargo capacity of 15 million tonnes per annum, due to the inadequate railway line.

Concerning the use of space and the protection of the environment, the railway itself doesn’t cause great harm since the Zagreb-Rijeka corridor already contains a railway line. The existing railway line Zagreb-Rijeka was opened for traffic in 1873, and according to exploitation it is one of the most difficult railway lines in Europe due to the fact that its technical characteristics do not meet the demands of transport. The Zagreb-Botovo section mostly follows the existing railway line that needs to be reconstructed in order to meet a higher standard, and on some locations minimal corrections of the route should be performed.

The Zagreb-Karlovac section is constructed for slow speed and small axial load, so the construction of a new route seems to be inevitable, one that would be shorter and would avoid a large part of the inhabited areas. The advantages of this solution are:

  • the achieving of a max. possible shortening of the route 
  • horizontal elements are such that, in the future, it will be possible to achieve max. speed over 250 km/h ( if necessary)
  • minimum raising of the route from Hrvatski Leskovac to Orlovac since the highest point reaches 40 m of extreme height difference 
  • favorable exploitation conditions
  • the goals of new railway construction are completely realized

For its wide traffic significance, including the traffic importance of the Rijeka port and other North Adriatic ports in the new market, political and economic-integrational processes of West- and East-European countries, it is quite justified to expect a huge increase of cargo-transport and passenger traffic in the pan-European VB traffic corridor where this railway line is located. The greatest benefit for the passengers will be a shorter trip from Rijeka to Zagreb within only one hour, while today that journey takes 3 hours and 45 minutes.