The European Commission approved on September 8 an investment of €80 million from the Cohesion Fund to build a tunnel and two viaducts as part of a wider scheme to provide a second railway track between the port of Koper and the village of Divača in Western Slovenia.
According to the Commission, the new line is essential to deal with a growing demand along the route and connect a crucial core network corridor to maritime routes.
EU Cohesion and Reforms Commissioner Elisa Ferreira noted that this EU investment is necessary for the improvement of rail connectivity of the Port of Koper, which is a crucial hub for freight and passenger transport with Central Europe. “Therefore, on top of benefitting Slovenian connectivity, this project also supports the functioning of the internal market as it strengthens economic and social cohesion,” she said.
The improved connection will reduce existing bottlenecks along this busy route for a faster, more efficient and competitive rail transport, the Commission said. Finally, by redirecting traffic from road to rail, the project will help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, improving local air quality in line with Cohesion policy adherence to the EU’s Green Deal objectives.