Port of Koper stranded from rail network due to line closures
Line closures in the Slovenian railway network due to construction hinder rail operations to and from the port of Koper. METRANS cancelled four pairs of trains on 4 May and expects a further slowdown of transit times in the coming weeks.
The port of Koper informed its customers of a complete shutdown of its railway system between 30 April and 2 May. It also urged them to remove the loaded containers from the terminal to balance the container volumes coming in and out of the port.
No export or import trains were dispatched from the port during the shutdown period. Consequently, METRANS had to stop traffic and cancel more trains even after the rail system opened since the train loading processes at the port’s terminal were very slow. The railway company mentioned that it is impossible to replace the lost train capacity due to the idle situation, resulting in longer transit times to and from Koper in the coming days.
Complete line closures
Slovenian Railways are in the midst of an intense infrastructure upgrade project that includes the complete line closures of the railway network also linking to the port of Koper. Works commenced in January when the Ljubljana-Brezovica line’s left track closed between 30 January and 6 February. From 6 February, Slovenian Railways closed the line’s right track, which will remain non-operational until 30 June.
The port of Koper will have to withstand some more days of complete isolation from the railway network. The state-owned railway company has planned full closures between Divaca and Koper on 9, 16 and 30 May due to the reconstruction of tracks. On top of that, the Ljubljana-Brezovica line will have both its tracks closed on 16 May. Understandably, the complete line closures will create more traffic restrictions and a backlog of trains until traffic is restored by the end of June. It should be noted that the infrastructure upgrades carried out by the Slovenian Railways will last until 2027, section by section.