After the ‘90s, Albanian kids have only gotten on a real train at the “Luna Park”.

Before the ‘90s railway transportation was the main means of transport, after these years this kind of transportation is replaced by road transport. Often, nostalgia gives us a push to look back in time and that way we can make a comparison: “how it used to be and how it’s now”.

The first railways in Albania were the mining and military ones built by the Austro-Hungarians and Italians. The railway system reaches 677km in 1987 and in 2016 only 440km are accepted by state as on working condition. The Albanian railway network starts at the port in Durres and divides in three directions: north up to Hani i Hotit, south down to the port of Vlora and East toward Pogradec. Official data from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure indicate that the Albanian railway has in its inventory 66 passenger wagons, 225 cargo wagons and 25 locomotives. According to the Transport Institute for 2016, compared to 2012, we have a 50% drop in passenger and cargo transport both within the country and abroad. In the form of subsidies the state allocates about EUR 4 million for the operation activity and EUR 3.5 million for capital investments.

In the infrastructure, the Albanian railway line, according to foreign experts (European Commission, "National Transport Plan", the 2nd phase of the study conducted by the national company Louis Berger, Albania) is well accepted to be built in optimum conditions, in terms of its track. This condition stimulates its renewal, with the ballast overlay and the rails. The demolition of the drainage system throughout the country has been disadvantageous for the railway track, where no one has worked for its drainage thus creating conditions for the removal of massive waters that have often broken the track during years. Experts also add that the investment in the Albanian railway should gradually begin, improving the condition of existing wagons and replacing trains such as cargo and passenger, by setting lighter trains and their speed be up to 100 km /h.

Meanwhile, in the current government program it is stated: "Railways will not be left to suffer, should be worked on the development of high frequency trains in the most populated territories, also security will increase and the whole Albanian railway system will be modernized. Priority will also be given to the railway network with Macedonia, the new port of Vlora, the port of Porto-Romano and the new port of Shëngjin."

Each means of transport releases pollution into the environment during the working hours. The conclusions of many studies through conducted tests and realized calculations have concluded that: car transport pollutes the environment at 75-90% compared to other pollutants. However, even trains pollute the environment by releasing CO2 or carbon elements, by acoustic pollution, they increase financial costs in the rehabilitation and maintenance phase, or in occupying the land where the track lies. Experts and environmentalists support rail transport, versus road transport, as the pollution of the latter is higher. Environmental pollution and heavy road traffic are a problem not only for the Tirana-Durres axis, but extend further. In perspective of energy and transport for European Community countries, it is predicted a 50% increase in passenger transport and 80% increase in cargo transport from year 2000 to 2030. Most of the growth of this transport will be covered by the roads. The average mileage of an EU citizen for 2030 will be 14,000 km, compared to the 10,000 km in 2000. If in the future the government will invest in improving and promoting railway transport in Albania, it will significantly improve heavy traffic in main axes, avoid cargo transport of high tonnage trucks, which in many cases damage routes and it will improve the quality of air in cities. Perhaps even now we should start thinking about arranging informative-educational excursions where school children can closely watch a passenger or cargo train after having seen them only in movies, magazines, books or playing at a toy train at the Luna Park.




Environmental Day

  • International Day for Preservation of the Ozone Layer - September 16

  • Clean Up the World Weekend - September 17-19

  • Zero Emissions Day - September 21

  • Car Free Day - September 22

  • World Day of Tourism - September 27




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