Better trade connections for Montenegro

Rail connections are critical for a country like Montenegro to benefit from the economic opportunities opened up by closer association with the EU. Reducing the costs of and delays in the transportation of goods and passengers, rail is also a sustainable option, enabling a shift from transport by road.

The EIB is deepening its support for the rail network in Montenegro with a EUR 20m long-term loan. This will:

  • upgrade 167 km of track and modernise the signalling at the major junction in Podgorica, the country’s capital;
  • rehabilitate some 30 concrete bridges, along with slope protection works and the rehabilitation of tunnels;
  • help increase passenger numbers ̶ 50 000 expected at project completion, rising to 80 000 after three years; and
  • allow greater quantities of freight ̶ 300 000 tonnes per year at completion, rising to 500 000 after three years.

The improvements are located on the core Trans-European Transport Network (Orient/East Med Corridor) and on a section identified in the 2015 Connectivity Agenda.

The EIB’s contribution to this project goes far beyond a loan. While technical assistance funded by the Western Balkans Investment Facility has played a critical role in project preparation and implementation, the Bank also helped to obtain a significant investment grant of EUR 20m from the same facility, without which these economically strategic enhancements to the rail network could not go ahead.