EUROPE: The transport ministers of Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia signed a declaration on July 30 agreeing to form a joint company by October to manage freight traffic on Pan-European Corridor X.

Their aim is to provide more competitive freight services between central Europe and Turkey, cutting Istanbul - Ljubljana transit times through faster running and shorter border procedures.

'If we shorten travel time from the present 60 h to 35-40 h, each of our countries will get €50m annually', according to Serbian Minister for Infrastructure Milutin Mrkonjic.

Structures for tri-national decision making and apportioning revenue are to be agreed before the joint company is established. Its main task will be to manage traffic rather than generate a profit. The head office will be in Ljubljana, as Slovenia is the only EU member.

A further meeting is to be held in Istanbul in September to provide Bulgaria, Turkey and Macedonia with the opportunity to join.

  • The Croatian government has agreed to provide HZ-Cargo and HZ-Vuva Vlakova with loan guarantees for locomotive modernisation projects.