TENDERS are due by August 17 for construction of the 25 km Slovenian section of the Murska Sabota - Hodos - Zalalovo link to Hungary. Formally approved by the two governments last year (RG 7.97 p432), the 44 km link will be partially funded from the European Union’s Phare programme. Costing Ecu80m, the line is to be completed by the end of 2000.

East-west routes across Slovenia are to be upgraded extensively over the next five years under the EU’s Crete Corridor V package, including renewal of signalling and power supplies and a programme of level crossing replacements. Transport Secretary Slavko Hanzel hopes to call tenders shortly for reconstruction of SZ’s western line from Divaca to the port of Koper. Work is expected to start in 2001 on a 50 km double-track alignment costing Ecu250m, for completion by 2004.

EU funding will also boost the Slovenian section of Corridor X, which links the Austrian border at Jesenice with the Croatian border at Obrejke. This will include double-tracking of the northern part and upgrading for 160 km/h. SZ’s aim is to run international and inter-city services with 250 km/h tilting trains. o