Project of connecting via rail within the funcional region of Central Croatia – Lepoglava junction
The new Lepoglava – Krapina/ Sveti Križ Začretje line is a part of the project of modernization and construction of the railway infrastructure from Čakovec and Varaždin to Zabok and Zagreb. The project will include the modernization of the railway connection between Čakovec and Lepoglava and Krapina/ Sveti Križ Začretje and Zabok, about 54 km long, and the construction of a new connection between Lepoglava and Krapina/ Sveti Križ Začretje around 19 km long. The line will be electrified and built for the speeds up to 160 km/ h.
Study documentation includes the drafting of the “Lepoglava Connection” study within the Central Croatia functional region with conceptual designs, feasibility study, and analysis of costs and benefits for the selected conceptual design. Within study documentation, environmental impact will be analysed as a basis for further documentation related to the development of the Environmental impact study at the next design stage.
The new line is a response to the strategic goals of the Republic of Croatia for greater use of environmentally sustainable, energy efficient and safer public transport, i.e. better use of the railway system in larger Croatian agglomerations and between functional subregions, so that the modern railway becomes the key to a fast, comfortable, safe and environmentally-friendly travels. The line also fulfils the goals of the regional Masterplan for Integrated Passenger Transport, which is better and faster access of northern Croatia to the Zagreb region and southern Croatia. The line is also very important for local transport, as it will play a key role in integrated passenger transport in Međimurje and Varaždin counties, in addition to linking major cities, thus enabling frequent and fast commute to work and school and for a large number of inhabitants in the northern transport subregion. The line is also important for freight transport, both in transit and in improving the competitiveness of northern Croatia’s economy.
The new Čakovec – Varaždin – Lepoglava – Zagreb line will allow shorter travel by train than today, so the journey from Čakovec to Zagreb will last up to 60 minutes and allow the connection of the region with 300,000 inhabitants of northern Croatia to Zagreb.
The construction of the new railway line fits into European transport development strategies which favour the railways as a fast, efficient and environmentally-friendly means of transport. It will contribute to the development of Integrated Passenger Transport in Northern Croatia, which is a response to challenges of mobility, as it ensures the connectivity of the entire northern region with each other and with Zagreb. Regional connectivity with Zagreb contributes to better business opportunities, quality of life, GDP growth and reduced population emigration.
The documentation is the basis for further preparation of project and spatial and planning documentation (preliminary design, modification/ harmonization of spatial planning documentation, environmental impact, main design, land purchase and obtaining building permits, which are a precondition for the construction of the line).
The Grant agreement for the development of study documentation with total value of HRK 13,871,100.00 and eligible costs of HRK 11,209,350.00, of which the EU co-finances HRK 9,527,947.50, was signed on December 17, 2018, by the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, the Central Finance and Contracting Agency for EU Programs and Projects (SAFU) and HŽ Infrastruktura. The expected total duration of the Project is 17 months after signing the contract. The project is co-financed by the European Union from the Operational Program Competitiveness and Cohesion from the Cohesion Fund (www.strukturnifondovi.hr) with 85 per cent of eligible costs, and by HŽ Infrastruktura with 15 per cent.
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