Inauguration Day of Alpine – Western Balkan Rail Freight Corridor

Inauguration Day of Alpine - Western Balkan Rail Freight Corridor

The Alpine-Western Balkan Rail Freight Corridor  (AWB RFC) started operating on 13th January 2020, when the first Catalogue of Pre-arranged paths was published. Due to known measures regarding the covid-19 epidemic, it was no possible to organize an official opening event of the corridor  in the same year.

Therefore, we are very satisfied that managed to organize the Inauguration Day of the corridor on 23th September 2021 in Ljubljana in hotel InterContinetal. We are glad that we succeeded to organize technically demanding hybrid meeting with live and virtual interaction beetween attendees.

The event was opened with an opening speech by Ms. Monika Pintar Mesarič, Director-General of Land Transport, Ministry of Infrastructure of Republic of Slovenia.

After opening of the event the following distinguished guests presented their welcome speeches for the attendees of the Inauguration Day:

Mr. Harald Hotz, Chairman of General Assembly Alpine-Western Balkan RFC

Mr. Matjaž Kranjc, Director of SŽ-Infrastructure   

Ms. Anka Rojs, President of ExBo of Alpine-Western Balkan RFC

Mr. Aleš Mihelič, State Secretary Ministry of Infrastructure of Republic of Slovenia


Important support for the event was provided by eminent guests in their keynote speeches.

Mr. Kristian Schmidt , Director for Land Transport, DG-MOVE

Mr. Paul Mazatoud, President of RailNetEurope   

Mr. Damjan Janez Pangerc, RAG spokesman of Alpine-Western Balkan RFC.


Before the end of the first part of the program, Miloš Rovšnik-Executive manager of Alpine-Western Balkan RFC presented on behalf of AWB RFC PMO the current and future activities, tasks as well as challenges of the corridor.


The second part of the program was dedicated to three panels with important and interesting contents and challenges for future placement and efffciency as well as competitiveness of the Alpine-Western Balkan Rail Freight Corridor.

The first panel, moderated by Mr. Harald Hotz  was presented the importance and effects of project TTR-Smart Capacity Management.  Participants of the panel, Mr. Uroš Zupan SŽ-Infrasructure , Mr. Philipp Koiser from RNE, Ms. Birgit Leber from OeBB Infrastructure and Damjan Janez Pangerc SŽ-Cargo had an interesting discussion where were also presented the exsisting and future activities for implementation of TTR. 

The second panel moderated by Mr. Josef Zitzler from Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Techonlogy  of Austria adressed the topic of challenges and possible measures for reducing of borders stops based on AWB RFC Capacity Improvemnet & Capacity Study. The participants of panel Mr. Furio Bombardi, Managing director of Mediterranean RFC, Ms. Dora Kukec Mezek SŽ representative of special group COLPOFER, Mr. Damjan Petrc from SŽ-Infrastructure, Mr. Denes Besenyoi – Rail Cargo Carrier Hungary and Mr. Klemen Ponikvar from Institut of Traffic and Transport, Ljubljana  presented their experience, opnions and and also advices for reducing of the train stops on the border stations. 

The third panel named AWB RFC and New Silk Road, moderated by Mr. Franc Klobučar -SŽ Infrastructure presented challenges and opportunities of Alpine – Western Balkan Rail Freight Corridor in case of   new connections with Turkey, Greece, Middle East and China. In discussion of panel participated Ms. Vlasta Kampoš-Jerenc from Ministry of Infrastructure of Slovenia, Mr. Marko Boban from Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure of  Croatia, Mr. Miloš Stanojevič Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure of Republic of Serbia, Ms. Tonka Yancheva, Ministry of Transport, Information, Technology and Communication of Bulgaria and Mr Maximilian Bauernfeinf Ferderal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology  of Austria .   


The event was big challenges regarding the all mesaures in case of covid 19 epidemic. With implementation of all necessary measures the participation of more than 40 guest in the conference hall took place without complications and consequences. 

The offcial opening of the Alpine-Western Balkan Rail Freight Corridor confirmed its presence on the map of  elev European Rail Freight Corridors. Taking into account a successful history of the volume of freight transport, Alpine-Western Balkan Rail Freight Corridor has has challenge and important role for achieving the goals of rail freight transport in EU until 2050.

The PMO team of the corridor woull like to thank everyone for help, support and and participation in the Inauguration Day of Alpine-Western Balkan Rail Freight Corridor 



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