SEPTEMBER 28 2012 20:40h
ZAGREB, Sept 28 (Hina) - A new diesel-electric train made by Croatia's Rolling Stock Factory Gredelj left for a promotional ride from Zagreb to Vienna on Friday morning as part of the South East Transport Axis (SETA) project, which is aimed at improving the connection of Europe's north and south via a corridor between the Baltic and Adriatic seas.
SETA brings together institutions from Croatia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia. The project is managed by the government of the Austrian state of Burgenland.
SETA seeks solutions for the best transport between northern Adriatic seaports, via Zagreb, Koprivnica, Kotoriba and west Hungary, to the East Europe transshipment hub Vienna-Bratislava, relying on rail.
The new diesel-electric train will reduce the 371 km ride from Zagreb to Vienna by one hour to less than five hours. The goal is to reduce the ride to three hours, which is possible only by investing in a new Rijeka-Zagreb-Vienna railroad, the seeing-off ceremony at Zagreb's Central Station heard.
The next step within SETA is a promotional ride of a freight train from Rijeka to Vienna and on to Bratislava.
Good transport connections are important for Croatia and Austria, which is a big long term opportunity for the Croatian economy, said Croatian Assistant Transport Minister Jasmin Krizmanic.
Apart from the Pan-European Corridor 5b, of which the Zagreb-Vienna section is part, Croatia insists on a new corridor, 10a, via Krapina, Maribor and Graz to Vienna, he said, adding that this new railroad would be 60 km shorter than the existing one.