Finally, after almost 30 years, the railway line connecting Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia is becoming a reality. The good intentions, with which many messages have been full so far, are now gaining concreteness and becoming real and, most importantly, achievable goals.

Reality, because the money is secured – a total of 165 million euros. Reality, because we have a fully completed project and because the tender procedure for selection of a contractor is over. Reality, because the construction of the railway is forthcoming this 2021. And, of course, reality, because we are implementing this project together with our partners from Bulgaria.

This was stated today by the General Director of the Public Enterprise for Railway Infrastructure “Railways of the Republic of Northern Macedonia” Harry Lokvenets during his meeting in Skopje with Krassimir Papukchiiski – General Director of the National Railway Infrastructure Company, the site “Local” reported.

Lokvenets stressed that the auction has been announced and with the selection of a contractor a 30-year-old dream will begin to come true.

“I expect construction to start here in 3-4 months,” he said.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the EU Delegation in Skopje, who supported the implementation of the project and the deepening of cooperation in the field of infrastructure. Then they visited Rezhanovtse together – the first part of Kumanovo to the border with Bulgaria.

Krassimir Papukchiiski, for his part, stressed that everyone is aware of their responsibility in connection with the implementation of the Pan-European Transport Corridor № 8, which will connect the Black Sea with the Adriatic Sea through Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania. He announced that a project for technical assistance is currently being implemented for the preparation of the project for modernization of the railway line Sofia – Pernik – Radomir – Gueshevo – the border with RS Macedonia, which is part of the main network.

The investment project envisages the construction of a railway line to serve the population, domestic and international freight traffic.

This project will ensure interoperability of infrastructure, equipment, management systems, operation and safety, as well as interconnection with European rail networks by applying uniform standards and in accordance with the requirements of the trans-European transport network.

Currently, in the section of the railway line Sofia – Pernik – Radomir – Gueshevo, which has a total length of 139 km, the speed varies from 70 to 100 km / h, and in some places the restrictions impose from 40 to 75 km / h. After the implementation of the project, the speed is expected to reach 130/160 km / h.

Papukchiiski and Lokvenets said they are committed to their professional competence, desire and responsibility for the implementation of the railway line that crosses the border between Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia – the Deve Bair tunnel. They emphasized that all this was made possible thanks to the full support of the EU and the practical application of the principles of European solidarity.