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The first competitive train on the 10th corridor departs from Belgrade

The Minister of Transport of the Republic of Slovenia, Patrik Vlačič, and his colleagues from Serbia and Croatia accompanied at the Belgrade-Batajnica railway station today the first of the trains that will provide for fast and efficient transport of goods on the 10th corridor.

Minister Vlačič had a meeting on the subject with the Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Croatia, Božidar Kalmeta, and the Minister of Infrastructure of the Republic of Serbia, Milutin Mrkonjić, on 26 July 2010 when the three ministers supported the idea of a joint venture with registered office in Ljubljana called Cargo 10 with the purpose of joint operations on the transport market, enhanced quality of service and management of the flow of goods on the 10th corridor. The competent ministries also agreed to cooperate with other ministries to reduce significantly the time taken by border procedures and thus the time trains are held up at the border – the key administrative obstacles to improved efficiency on the entire corridor.

The Government of the Republic of Slovenia approved incorporation of Cargo 10, a limited liability company, at its latest meeting. The company is being founded by the Slovenian Railways, Croatian Railways Cargo and the Railways of Serbia. The main aim of the company will be to abolish operational obstacles on the part of the railway carriers. Seven task forces have been set up for that purpose, which work on the joint project of process optimisation, with the main areas of cooperation in production activity optimisation, marketing and development of new transport products. The alliance will be open to new members; however, they will not become partners in Cargo 10 but will sign an alliance agreement with all the rights and obligations of members of the association The potential of the 10th corridor linking two markets of roughly 80 million people, Germany and Turkey, has been confirmed by the fact that 2.1 million tonnes of cargo were carried by train on the corridor in 2009 while the quantity carried in 1989, before the disintegration of Yugoslavia, was roughly 8 million tonnes. The wars in the former Yugoslavia stopped transport flows, which were largely redirected to the 4th corridor via Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. The Slovenian Railways estimate that the 10th corridor has roughly 10% of the market share of the 4th corridor.

Referring to this, the Minister in his speech accompanying the first train departing said: “Although the route between Munich and Istanbul is no less than 900 km longer on the 4th corridor, freight has not return to the 10th corridor after transport routes were reopened and the question was why. It soon became clear that concrete measures were needed at the level of railway administrations as well as at the government level which would lead to an enhanced quality of transport services and foremost to shorter transport times. After six months of hard work by teams from the Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian railways supported by the competent ministries we are today seeing a fruit of cooperation within the Cargo 10 alliance.”