The railway infrastructure system in Albania is very suitable for public transport and tourism, as it passes through territories of high natural and landscape value.
The plan focused precisely on the redevelopment of the country's main stations - based on their use also for tourism and part of the AKM national general plan - proposes the development and upgrading of the railway lines from north to south, including revitalization of the physical infrastructure of railway tracks, stations, wagon fleets and passenger and freight locomotives.
This network should ensure fast and safe travel, synchronized with other urban transport means. A key factor in the development of transport through this network will be the connection with Greece and Montenegro, which will lead to an increase in passenger and freight flows.
The development and upgrading of the railway lines, according to the plan, includes the following cities: Shkodër, Lezhë, Fushë-Krujë, Vorë, Tirana, Durres, Kavaja, Rrogozhinë, Lushnjë, Fier and Vlora.
The rebirth of the railway would give a considerable boost to a country, even more if it is small. In Albany the few remaining lines have focused more on freight transport. And the market answers are not slow to arrive.
In April theINSTAT calculated a growth of transported goods of the 47,5% compared to the previous year, with a growth of imports on rails that even reaches 210,6% compared to a year before.
The Tirana-Rinas-Durazzo railway line
One of the main elements of the plan to develop and upgrade the railway lines is certainly the new railway line that will connect Tirana, Durres and the Rinas airport.
For the first year of work, a loan of about eleven million euros is expected (1.4 billion lek), most of which will come from the European Union Investment Fund (about 8 million euros - 1 billion lek) while the remaining part will come from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The Albanian government will also participate in the financing by paying the VAT foreseen for this year, or 1,7 million (lek's 200.000.000). The works on the stretch in question will start from the area of Kashar, on the outskirts of Tirana, and will thus make the latter an important center for moving passengers.
Albania would now already have a modern railway network linking Tirana and Durazzo if it had not unilaterally canceled a similar contract - to that stipulated with the EU and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development - with the American company General Electric in the 2005.
For this reason, in March of the 2010, an arbitral tribunal condemned the Albanian government to compensate about 20 million dollars to the American company for the cancellation of the contract (worth 74 million euros).