SLOVENIA’s Infrastructure Directorate has completed the €230m upgrade of the 26.2km Zidani Most - Celje line in the east of the country, which forms part of the line from Zidani Most via Šentilj to the Slovenian-Austrian border.

The upgrade of the line, which began in 2016 and removes a bottleneck between Koper and Šentilj, was completed in three sections: Zidanega Most - Rimske Toplice, Rimske Toplice – Laško, and Laško - Celje. The axle load on the line has been increased to 22.5 tonnes, and capacity increased from 328 to 354 trains a day with freight capacity increased from 20.56 million tonnes to 24.41 million tonnes annually.

The stations at Celje, Laško and Rimske Toplice were renovated with new platforms installed to improve access for passengers with reduced mobility. Level crossings at Rimske Toplice and Laško stations were removed, while new underpasses were built at Marija Gradec and Rimske Toplice. A new 123m-long road bridge over the Savinja river was built in Marija Gradec, and 3.5km of noise protection was installed.

The project received €90.6m in funding from the European Union through the Connecting Europe Facility, and was completed €50m under the initial €282.4m budget.

The Zidani Most - Celje, Poljčane - Slovenska Bistrica and Maribor - Šentilj lines are now due to be upgraded from a relay signalling system to electronic interlockings.