Serbian Minister of Transport, Zorana Mihajlovic, announced that this year will be launched the modernisation and electrification works for the 100 km Dimitrovgrad- Niš line. The project also includes the construction of a bypass around Nis and the complete reconstruction of Niš-Zajecar section which is 108-km-ling and is scheduled to be completed in 2020.
The reconstruction and modernisation of the track, with upgrading of the track elements will allow trains to run at speeds of 120 km/h and a 22.5 tonnes axle load, for freight trains. The Dimitrovgrad- Niš electrification requires the construction of fixed installations for the contact line and substation power supply.
The project is estimated at EUR 260 million, of which, the EIB provided EUR 75 million last year.
The existing line has a total length of about 104 km from Niš to the border with Bulgaria. Dimitrovgrad is at a distance of about 97 km from Niš, and such station is working as operational border between the Serbian and Bulgarian rail administrations.
The railway line connecting Niš with Dimitrovgrad and the Bulgarian border is the branch Xc of the SEETO Corridor X.
The line is part of the corridor connecting Central Europe to Bulgaria and Turkey through Croatia and Serbia. It is an alternative to the TEN-T Rhine-Danube Corridor. The rail section between Niš and Dimitrovgrad is an important bottleneck, being the only part of the entire corridor that is not electrified and having a weight limits of category D3.