Through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), the European Union has funded a technical assistance project worth EUR 800,000 covering the reconstruction of the existing and construction of the second track on the Ostruznica – Batajnica rail section of the Belgrade Marshalling Yard.
The technical assistance assignment, including the preparation of the feasibility study, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and preliminary design, aims at the modernisation and sustainable development of the Serbian railway transport system, in order to meet the required EU capacity levels and quality standards relevant to the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).
The project is of great strategic importance for the development of the transport network in Serbia and in particular for the reinforcement of the Belgrade Marshalling Yard as an important railway freight node in the Western Balkans.
The 22 km long Ostruznica – Batajnica rail section is one of the key railway routes in Serbia, and it is significant for the international and transit traffic, as part of the Pan-European Corridor X crossing Serbia.
EUR 62.17 million is the total value of the modernisation and construction project, of which EUR 800,000 is the value of the grant provided by WBIF from a technical assistance grant. In addition, WBIF supports two external grants worth EUR 25 million. The is the lead international financing institution providing EUR 30.3 million and it also supports the project preparation through its advisory services under JASPERS partnership with the European Commission.
“The bypass railway line level Ostružnica – Batajnica is very important both on national and international level, given the number of international freight trains served by this line. The Ministry will provide all necessary support in the implementation of activities within this subproject with the aim of its completion in planned timeframe,” Miroslav Prokić, the Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure of Serbia said.
The railway line Belgrade Marshalling Yard – Ostružnica – Batajnica is primarily used for rail freight transport that transit or finish traffic at the station. The railway represents a bottleneck for the transport of freight trains through the Belgrade Node and becomes even more important due to the abolished infrastructure capacities in the Belgrade node for the implementation of the ‘Belgrade Waterfront’ project.
Thus, it is necessary to reconstruct the existing 20 km Ostružnica – Batajnica railway line with the characteristics of the railway infrastructure which will be defined on the basis of the feasibility study. This line connects Belgrade – Stara Pazova – Šid – State border – (Tovarnik) railway line with Stara Pazova – Novi Sad – Subotica – State border – (Kelebija) railway line. This will increase capacity and contribute to the development of intermodal transport, bearing in mind that commencement of works of construction of Intermodal terminal in Batajnica started in 2019.
Railway Corridor X is one of the European corridors and also part of the indicative extension of the TEN-T Orient/East-Med Corridor to the Western Balkans. It connects Serbia with Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria and North Macedonia (and further south with Greece).