Macedonia’s Prime Minister, Nikola Gurevski announced that the tender for the construction and reconstruction works of Beljakovce – Kriva Palanka (33.9 km) railway section will be launched by the end of this year. Works will include the construction of twelve new bridges and four new tunnels, construction of 33 km main track and 7.5 km station track.This is the second phase of Railway Corridor VIII – Eastern Section Project (88.1 km).
“This project is not only important for Kriva Palanka, but also for the entire nation and it means connecting Macedonia to Bulgaria, something that we have been talking for long in the nineties”, Gruevski stated.
The specific objectives of the project specified in the Feasibility Study for Corridor VIII Eastern section and ESIA (Eptisa, DB Mobility) include:
– Reducing travel time between Skopje and Sofia by rail by approximately 1 hour against current road
– Reducing regional travel time between Kumanovo and Kriva Palanka by rail to approximately 35
minutes against current travel time of approximately 50 minutes by road;
– Shorten the Macedonia to Black Sea railway link by approximately 200 km;
– Shorten the Macedonia to Istanbul railway link by approximately 150 km; and
– Increasing freight capacity by being able to accommodate up to 10 daily freight trains per direction
which is equivalent to 400 road trucks.