SLOVENIA: A 3·7 km section of new alignment for the Počehova – Pesnica section of the historic Sudbahn main line between Ljubljana and Wien was opened for traffic on August 14, with the first train departing from Maribor at 18.21.
Under construction since September 2020, the alignment forms part of a €286·7m modernisation of the 16·4 km Maribor – Šentilj route, which has been co-financed with €127·7m of EU funding. The work has been divided into three sub-projects — the upgrading of Maribor station and the line to Počehova, construction of the diversion between Počehova and Pesnica, and refurbishment of the existing line from Pesnica to Šentilj and the Austrian border.
Construction of the new line between Počehova and Pesnica has been undertaken by a joint venture of Pomgrad, Kolektor Koling, SŽ-ŽGP, GH Holding and Gorenjska gradbena družba, at a total cost of €120m.
Replacing an old alignment dating from 1846, the deviation includes two major structures. The 1 530 m Pekel tunnel was excavated in 16 months using NATM, and includes a 245 m rescue tunnel, perpendicular to the main bore. The 32-span Pesnica viaduct is 896 m long and 14·4m wide. Both structures have been designed for future double tracking, subject to agreement between Slovenia and Austria.
Work on the €55·5m Maribor package was delivered by SŽ–ŽGP, Pomgrad, Kolektor Koling and GH Holding. This included modernisation of both Maribor and Maribor Tezno stations as well as refurbishment of the line to Počehova.
A joint venture of Pomgrad, SŽ ŽGP, GH Holding and GGD Kranj was selected for the €45·9m tranche covering the line from Pesnica to Šentilj and the Austrian border. This included both infrastructure and station modernisation and the refurbishment of Šentilj tunnel. Much of the work was undertaken during a 50-day blockade in autumn 2018. Level crossings on this section were replaced by bridges under a separate contract with Pomgrad valued at €18·9 m. The same company installed 10·7 km of noise barriers for a further €10·1m.