In addition, the loan includes €2.5m to help Macedonia advance the second phase of the project, which will extend the line east from Beljakovce to Kriva Palanka. Tender documentation is expected to be finalised for this section by the end of next year. The third and final phase will take the line over the border into Bulgaria, where it will join the Gyueshevo – Radomir line.

The railway will form part of Trans-European Corridor 8, and will provide Macedonia with a shorter rail route to Bulgaria's Black Sea ports of Burgas and Varna.