Skopje, 24th June 2014 (MIA) – Agreement for purchase of four new diesel multiple units and two electric multiple units for transportation of passengers in the railway traffic was signed by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and the Chinese CSR Corporation Ltd., one of the largest companies in the world manufacturing wagons and locomotives.

The first units will be delivered next summer. Their capacity accommodates around 1,200 passengers, they will be fully air-conditioned, equipped with vacuum toilets, energy efficient and will meet all safety standards and standards for transportation of people with limited mobility.

Investment under this Project is in the amount of EUR 25 million – funds from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which are obtained 35 years after the last new train was purchased in Macedonia.

In addition, EUR 15 million was used to commence the procurement of freight wagons, and additional EUR 10 million will be used for rehabilitation of the units in the existing trains so as for they to be adapted, hence, the total investment for renewal of the whole rolling stock of “Macedonian Railways Transport” a.d. accounts for EUR 50 million.

After signing the Agreement, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, said that he expected for the Agreement to be realized within the deadline, and new, modern and cost-effective wagons and locomotives to run the Macedonian railroad tracks in the summer in 2015.

He also underlined that the purchase of new wagons was part of a large investment cycle in the railway, covering the commencement of the construction of the railroad tracks towards Bulgaria and the reconstruction of the railroad station in Skopje.

– Investment cycle in the coming four years will amount to more than EUR 250 million. This large investment will contribute to completely transforming and modernizing the railway traffic in Macedonia. The railway is not only the most cost-effective means of transportation, but also the most pleasant one. To me personally, it is my favourite means of transportation. However, it is a fact that the railway in the Republic of Macedonia has not been used to its fullest. The reason therefore is the shortage of investments – both in infrastructure and wagons and locomotives, Stavreski said.

Minister of Transport and Communications, Mile Janakievski, and Macedonian Railways Transport a.d. CEO, Oliver Derkovski, welcomed the Agreement, underlining that it brings new changes in the development of the Macedonian railways.

– We have started creating a new, different picture of the railway transportation in our country, in particular, having in mind that the last train had been procured 35 years ago. We continue modernizing the trends in the railway sector, aiming it, to the highest extent, to the needs of the citizens, ensuring quality and efficient passenger transportation, with modern trains as the Macedonian citizens deserve, Janakievski said.

Vice President of CSR Corporation Ltd, Xu Zongxiang, thanked the Government of the Republic of Macedonia for the trust it conferred, saying they would justify it by delivering the Agreement. CSR produces and provides standard service of locomotives and wagons for passenger and freight wagons, engines for vehicles and public transportation means and relevant components. It has also produced the first electrical locomotive in the People’s Republic of China.

– In 2013, the company generated US$ 16 billion income and signed international agreements in the amount of US$ 2.2 billion. So far, our company supplied products and rendered standard service to more than 80 countries worldwide. We have signed the first agreement in Macedonia, and the initiative of the Macedonian Government to improve the public transportation is very important. I promise we will deliver the Agreement in full and I, personally, will constantly take care of the project implementation. I promise to justify the trust conferred and to offer a superior quality and service, Zongxiang said. He gave the representatives of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia miniatures of the trains as presents.

Zongxiang informed that the annual investment in the railway in the People’s Republic of China amounted to more than US$ 100 billion. Railway network is 100,000 kilometers long, 11,000 km out of which are first-class high-speed railway lines.

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