Skopje, 3rd March 2015 (MIA) – The railway fleet of Macedonian Railways has been enriched with new 107 freight wagons, being promoted today in Skopje. It is expected for the other 43 wagons to be the delivered from the Slovakia’s “ZOS Trnava” by the end of the month, thus completing the procurement worth EUR 13.2 million.
Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who together with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Zoran Stavreski and Minister of Transport and Communications Mile Janakieski attended this event, stressed that the procurement of these wagons is part of the Government’s strategy for complete rehabilitation and revitalization of Macedonian railway system.
– If any of our citizens tries to remember when was the last time when new trains, i.e. new transport freight wagons were bought and put into operation in Macedonia… most probably, only of few them would recall of such event. This is a result of the manner, in which, the railways and the railway traffic were lately treated in Macedonia, Gruevski said.
He stressed that the first out of the six passenger train units should arrive in July, being worth around EUR 25 million.
– In addition to new trains, Macedonia will also obtain new railwaystations. Reconstruction of the railway station in Skopje is in progress, which we expect to be completed this summer. In addition to the railway station in Skopje, the railway stations in Veles, Prilep, Bitola, Gevgelija, Bogomila, Caska, Tabanovce, Demir Kapija, Gradsko and Negotivon will be modernized, Gruevski said.
He pointed out that the construction of the railroad tracks towards Bulgaria commenced last year, and that there are intensive activities aimed at expanding the railway network towards Albania.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Stavreski underlined that the procurement of the new freight wagons was a result of the businessmen’s requests.
– Purchase of new freight wagons was one of the requests of the business community, which speaks in favour of the fact that the Government has been cooperating with the businessmen during these nine years. Whenever there is substantiated request, we manage to create room in the Budget for such funds and thus meet the demands of the business community, Stavreski said.
He went on that, at present, the investment in the railways amounts to EUR 281 , EUR 145 million out of which is intended for the second phase of the reconstruction of the railroad tracks to Bulgaria, while EUR 50 million is aimed at procuring the new wagons. Moreover, IPA funds are used for reconstruction of the railways from Bitola to Kremenica, as well as for reconstruction of the railway station in Skopje and the other railway stations.
– It is a matter of significant investment cycle, for which funds have never before been allocated. All this provides for creating more competitive economy since these wagons, contemporary transport and improved railroad tracks will lead to both lower costs for Macedonian companies and greater transport of goods and passengers, Stavreski said.
According to the Minister of Transport and Communication, as a result of this new investment, Macedonian Railways will be also established on the international market as a company ready to offer fast and safe transport.
– Macedonian Railways Transport today starts writing its new history. This company has renewed the railway fleet for the first time after several decades. For the purpose of modernizing the railways and creating boosted competitiveness on the market, we managed to procure 150 freight wagons, Janakieski said.