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Belgrade Railway Junction

Belgrade is the capital of the Republic of Serbia with a population of about 2 million. The city is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers. Due to its favorable position, Belgrade has significant importance within the network of PanEuropean transport corridors. Since position of the city is a meeting point of railway, road, air (Corridor X) and maritime ways (Danube River - Corridor VII), it has all preconditions to become a center of the Southeast Europe. Moreover, the most important railway lines that connect North and South, East and West are met in Belgrade.

The Belgrade Railway Junction accommodates international main railway lines that connect Paris and Istanbul, Budapest and Athens and Bucharest and Bar. Belgrade Railway Junction is the core of the Serbian Railway Network.

DEVELOPMENT CONCEPT

In order to enable harmonized development of the railway system and the city in general, the following principles governing the junction development are adopted as a basis for all technical and urban solutions, from 1956 till today:

• Removing railway facilities from the river banks, Sava Amphitheatre and Topčider,
• Separation of passenger and freight traffic approaching the city and releasing the central city zone from the freight traffic which will result in more favorable functional, spatial and environmental effects,
• Organization of passenger traffic in a way that will enable trains from all railway lines to pass through stations situated on the left and right Sava River banks,
• Handling with freight trains in one marshaling yard at the city periphery, and
• Concentration of local freight operations in multi-modal logistic centers.

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All designs referring to reconstruction of the studied junction, from the very beginning up to date, were developed in the Institute of Transportation CIP.

During the past 50 years, reconstruction of the Belgrade Railway Junction has been realized in different political, economic and technological circumstances. The adopted concept shall include two systems, freight and passenger traffic, that will be integrated into one harmonized unity.

Freight system

Marshaling yard in Makiš and freight by-pass lines are considered to be a backbone of the freight system. Freight trains run on by-pass lines along the city periphery.
Today, freight traffic mostly runs on railway lines and through stations within the junction, except trains toward Banat that run through Sava Amphitheatre and in the vicinity of Kalemegdan Park.

Design and construction works for the Beli Potok-Vinča-Pančevo freight by-pass railway line and road-railway bridge over the Danube River near Vinča need to be completed so as the central city zone may be relieved from transport of goods and hazardous substances.

The Institute of Transportation CIP prepared General and Preliminary Designs for the by-pass line, by-pass highway and the bridge, fully in accordance with the requirements set by the Ministry of Infrastructure and city authorities. Final designs are not completed yet.

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Passenger system

Since passenger system within the junction is not completed yet, traffic is not realized according to the defined concept.

Long-distance passenger traffic follows the old pattern according to which trains that come from different directions end and start their runs at the existing station in Sava Amphitheatre.

Railway lines that integrate the new passenger system are used for ''Beovoz''city train operations.

The passenger system shall be put in function once design and construction works on the following stations: Belgrade Center, Zemun and Kijevo Stations have been completed.

Modern passenger stations in Europe are designed to meet requirements imposed by different transport networks fully in accordance with urban surrounding. In such a way, stations become centers that offer different traffic-related services or services indirectly connected to passenger flows.

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Since construction of new stations is mostly realized through private investments, the stations usually offer wide variety of services: hotels, restaurants, commercial and business centers.

Belgrade Center Station is a core of passenger system within the Belgrade Railway Junction. It is situated in the center of the city on the right Sava River bank. This is a passing station for numerous trains and enables good connection with the city arterials and metro. It is designed as modern passenger station provided with 10 tracks, 6 platforms and station building situated within the business-commercial complex. The commenced construction works shall continue and necessary technical documentation shall be prepared.

Zemun passenger station with maintenance facilities is start/end station for all trains coming from South and East directions. The station includes facilities for care and maintenance of trains that operate within the ''Beovoz'' system. The junction concept defines long-term solutions according to which facilities for care and maintenance of passenger trains shall be designed, constructed and properly equipped.
Construction of passenger station with maintenance facilities in Kijevo will also require significant reconstruction works on the main road in Topčider Valley.

Freight center in Makiš

The modern freight-transport center with container terminal and public warehouses is planned to be established in the area next to the Belgrade marshaling yard in Makiš. The center will be connected to railway lines and easily accessible for road vehicles coming from the city and highway by-pass.

Realization of these facilities will require preparation of relevant urban and technical documentation.

Sava Amphitheatre

Today, the Sava Amphitheatre Complex accommodates different railway facilities.

Construction of the Belgrade Center passenger station, as well as maintenance facilities in Zemun and Kijevo Stations, including freight transport center in Makiš and Beli Potok-Vinča-Pančevo bypass line, the freight and passenger systems shall be organized to meet the junction concept requirements.

In such a way, the Sava Amphitheatre Complex that occupies about 80 ha in area, shall become an attractive location and both City of Belgrade and the Republic of Serbia will experience a multi-million financial benefit.

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Conclusion:

Works planned for junction development have not been completed yet. Buildings in New Belgrade, Zemun and Rakovica stations need to be constructed, track capacities reconstructed and extended and other relevant works performed to enable proper functioning of the junction in a big city.

The existing railway lines running through Topčider Valley, Sava Amphitheatre and near Kalemegdan Park need to be modernized.

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