Good Practices - Albania
Rehabilitation of the existing railway line from Durres (Seaport) to Tirana public transport terminal and construction on the new railway connection up to Tirana (Rinas) international airport- contribution to the improvement of inter-modality with rail, road, maritime and air modes of transport

Location of the case study, Durres, Tirana, Rinas/airport. Regarding accessibility to the one of the key features characterizing the Program area is the balance in the development of infrastructure and modes of transport, both between the two Adriatic coasts and between the Partner States, due to the identified weaknesses structural, level of maintenance and investment related infrastructure.

Considering the sustainability at interventions proposed in Port of Durres (freight and ferry terminals) to railway line Durres-Tirana PTT and access to Rinas Airport with available resources, are described in that inter-modality in the ADRION area that can benefit from increasing the efficiency of intermodal nodes - ports, freight terminals, courtyards - interfering in their bottleneck for entry, to warehouse for storage and parking areas as well as the efficiency of intermodal transfer technologies.

Other issues of trade facilitation and support for the modernization of transport-related networks, customs and border crossing points and port services and operations are the points of attention for the area of this Project.

Schematic form of Albanian Railway Network
Satellite picture of the project and the main points of the study area coordinate
2. Challenges and barriers in implementing /introducing selected good practice and respective ways used in order to overcome or limit risks

Challenges and bottlenecks:

There are key issues, challenges and risks that have to be taken into the consideration:

  1. Planning and deployment EU Railway Traffic Monitoring Systems ERTMS is a future of railways. In this moment, Albanian railways systems are taking a huge step in a new era where Digitalisation is imminent and is planned within the Project, hence, can’t be avoided. ERTMS is a part of digitalisation and it is a milestone to new era of Albanian railways ascension.
  2. The setting-up of strategic and legal framework and Capacity Building of Albania are first and probably most challenging steps, creating Institutional framework and functionality enabling next steps in process of ITS deployment for interoperability needed.

    - Several of efforts are already made in some steps and implemented certain provisions in national regulations, but mostly without strategic and coordinated framework which will lead to effective and efficient ITS deployment.
  3. Organizational and technical issues are point of action which requires comprehensive, systematic approach and coordinated work and involvement of different key players (competent authorities, stakeholders, users).
  4. Adopting relevant EN standards as preconditions to ERTMS deployment, where Innovation, digitalization including future signalling systems and ERTMS have to be adopted relevant EN standards as preconditions on ERTMS deployment.
  5. Presentation, testing and evaluation of concepts new, e.g., in ecosystem services, Development / Blue and Green Growth in Practice development and cohesion policy, by facilitating the achievement of EU standards and standards generally increasing the potential of good governance also in the context of EUSAIR.
  6. Treatment of poor interconnection between ports and intermodal interconnections and logistic (intermodal: water-rail, rail-road).
  7. Managing the seasonal tourist peak for it avoid traffic congestion, providing one Integrated mobility backup thanks to ICT - ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) - its new media spread across the Adriatic region.
3. Funding mechanism, cooperation schemes developed and institutional reforms made
  • Funding mechanism is approved at implementation of the Law no. 29/2017 on the ratification of the harmonization Agreement between the Republic of Albania and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the financing of the project "Albanian Railways - Rehabilitation of the railway line Tirana - Durres and construction of the railway line to the International Airport of Tirana" (Rinas) and Law 3/2018 as of 25.01.2018 on Amending the Joint Agreement on basis of Law 63/2015 for the extension of railway line from PTT to a New passengers train station as suburban transportation or light rail transport systems.
  • Planning and deploying and RAILDATA, RNE as railway specific systems as approved in the NTS 2016-2020 and Action Plan of the Strategy in priority action for RAILWAYS in Albania and incl. Cross-border operations by railway.
  • Improvement the priority actions for Intermodal and combined transport as in the NTS to 2020. Implementation of ASTP funded by EBRD, as in the applicable legislation in Albania.
  • Implementation of Directive 2010/40/EU as in the Guidelines of MoIE dated 21.07.2017 for ITS deployment in road transport and interfaces to other transport modes incl. Railways on Multimodal ITS Directive where prioritized by EU legal acts and policies, even the strategic development in transport sector that is focused on other means of transport, specifically Railway and IWW/Maritime.
  • Furthermore, having in mind above mentioned, development of other modes of transport is highly dependable on interactions with road transport or in other words, enabling intermodal services, where ITS and IT solutions are playing the crucial role.
4. Factors of success
  • Having in mind above mentioned, factors to success is in efficient planning for deployment of i.e. harmonization in information travel time which is fragmented into several main groups of aspects of requirements:
    • Institutional requirements (strategic and legal framework) and Organizational requirements (Rules and responsibilities, Coordination, Working bodies, Stakeholders)
    • Technical requirements (Technical specifications and standards, Data exchange and Telecommunication standards, ITS Architecture development, performance monitoring etc.) and Economic / financial requirements (RPs internal and external sources of funding above mentioned requirements)
  • Electro-mechanic logical infrastructure where Railway line electromechanical infrastructure consists mainly of all underground cabling infrastructure, for data transmission and power supply of outdoors equipment, including fibre optic cables and Data cables as well as Power cables and Protective underground PE pipes for fibre optic and Grounding conductors, Shafts, manholes and prefabricated concrete cable trays.

All the cables are used for power supply, operation and control of the signalling installations will be developed in the Durres – Tirana section, connecting "entry - exit" signals with all their indications (main and complementary indications/shunting indications), train detection circuits, turnout machines, turnout blade control devices, key blocking cabinets, detailers and all types of ground devices, terminal boxes, local workstations, power plants, relay rack(s) accommodating the relays, all other device or apparatus installation relating to the signalling/control-command system CCS in Cabling infrastructure in stations also includes the cables used for power supply, control, etc.

  • Interlocking and Communication Equipment at the railway line interlocking/signalling equipment consists of the following main components:
    • Electric colour light aspect signals (route signals) installed across the line,
    • Switch points, electromechanically controlled, at all stations,
    • Level crossing protection barriers of appropriate types at each crossing location,
    • Outdoors signalling equipment and DATA-VOICE communication equipment for Durres-Tirana and Rinas to broader area...
5. Recommendations, transferability

The main positive results of the activity were the following:

  • Strengthening the development of Rail Freight Corridors (RFCs)
  • Improving conditions for intermodal competition
  • Adoption of EU interoperability specifications (DATEX, ETCS, ERTMS, TSI, etc.)
  • Digitalization of documentation regarding railways infrastructure and operational information systems
  • PSOs offer on-board internet and entertainment services in order to respond to the increased demand from customers to have the ability to access the internet in order to use their phones, tablets and laptops for leisure and work purposes.
  • This enhances customers’ experience, who are satisfied that internet is consistently available throughout the rail networks. Railways will boost access to internet to fulfil customers’ wishes and to create an interconnected and ‘always-on’ digital rail network.
  • Better collaboration within the sector and beyond will bring added value and offer better solutions for passengers, freight users and their own staff.

Intermodality Promotion and Rail Renaissance in Adriatic - Ionian Region

This project is supported by the Interreg ADRION Programme funded under the European Regional Development Fund and IPA II fund.

Inter-Connect aims at promoting intermodal passengers transportation and revitalising rail …



Technical Coordinator - Toolkit

Hellenic Institute of Transport
Dr. Maria Morfoulaki
Glykeria Myrovali