KOPER – The company 2TDK, which is managing the project for the construction of the new railway track between Divača and Koper, this morning signed a contract with the selected contractors – the Slovenian-Turkish consortium between Kolektor CPG and Yapi Merkezi Insaat and Ozaltin Insaat – for the main construction works. With this signing, which took place in Dekani (just outside Koper), the construction works on the rail route itself can officially begin. According to the timetable, the works must be completed in 2025, and the track is expected to be handed over for use a year later. The entire 27-kilometres Divača-Koper railway section will allow speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour, comparable to the speeds of modern European railways. The railway will rise from the sea level to 430 meters in Divača, and three quarters of the railway route will run in tunnels. The total value of the project is about 1 bilion euros, of which 153.36 million euros is the European financing, while the EIB provided 250 million euros. The beginning of the construction of an additional track is a part of the project including long-standing efforts to provide the port of Koper with a new efficient rail link. Although the current track has received huge investment in renovation and maintenance in recent years, it is unthinkable in the long term that it could sustain the projected growth in both freight volumes and train frequencies. The competitive battle between ports (in particular with the Port of Trieste, a few km far from Koper) is fought on rail. The Port of Koper already has a modal split of 60 % in favour of rail, serving the economies of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.