The European Union provided Slovenia, through the Cohesion Fund, a EUR 101 million grant to upgrade the rail section between the Slovenian cities of Maribor and Šentilj, near the border with Austria in the direction of Graz. The section is part of Baltic-Adriatic corridor, on the core Trans-European Transport Network.
“Thanks to this cohesion investment, locals and tourists will enjoy faster, safer travel between Maribor and Šentilj and to the border. I hope it will convince people to leave their cars at home and adopt this greener transport option. In addition, this EU-funded project will allow for intensified freight transport, which will have positive effects on jobs, trade and growth in the country,” Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said.
The project includes the modernisation of the railway section, as well as the refurbishment of the Maribor Tezno, Maribor, Pesnica and Šentilj stations, improvements at the Šentilj tunnel and the construction of the Pekel tunnel.
The new railway line should be operational at the beginning of 2023, when the number of trains between Maribor and Šentilj will be increased from 67 to 84 per day. EU-funded works aim to reduce travel times, increase speed as well as railway safety and ensure greater freight-carrying capacity on the line.
In August, the Ministry of Infrastructure awarded a signalling contract which includes the Sentilj station and is part of the ERTMS/ETCS deployment on the Dobova-Zidani Most and Pragersko-Maribor-Šentilj railway lines.