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Darko Peričić - Articles and news items

Croatia: Infrastructure modernisation for a more competitive railway

Issue 1 2014 / 12 February 2014 /

2013 was spent implementing the financial and organisational restructuring of Croatian Railways. The company was divided into three independent entities of which HŽ Cargo and HŽ Passenger Transportation are marketorientated transport operators whilst HŽ Infrastructure is the state-owned infrastructure manager. As a result, HŽ Infrastructure has seen major changes.


Issue 1 2013 / 18 February 2013 /

The end of October 2012 saw the finalisation of the status and structural changes to the HŽ Holding system in the scope of the Restructuring Programme, and now we are entering a new phase in the organisation of the railways in Croatia in which three independent companies will seek new business opportunities on the liberalised market of railway services. These companies are HŽ Infrastruktura d.o.o. (management, maintenance and construction of railway infrastructure), HŽ Putnički prijevoz d.o.o. (passenger transportation) and HŽ Cargo d.o.o. (freight transportation).

All this began with the passing of the Railways Act in 2003 and its amendments in 2009, as well as the Act on the Division of the Trade Company HŽ-Hrvatske željeznice d.o.o. These acts set up the strategic, legal and structural platform for the reorganisation of the Croatian railway system in accordance with EU directives. Thus, HŽ-Hrvatske željeznice d.o.o. was divided into independent trade companies, each with its own core activities. The preconditions were created for the business organisation of each company for market competition imposed by the liberalisation of track access to other undertakings on the railway transport market.

This organisation is in accordance with EU requirements for providing non-discriminatory railway infrastructure access to all operators who meet the requirements, as well as trans – parent subsidising and use of state budget funds. Also in accordance with the specifics of the activities of each company are a rationali – sation of business operations and a more efficient management of resources on the open market.

The new Management Board, which was placed at the head of what was still HŽ Holding on 29 February 2012, was given a challenging assignment – to draw up the Restructuring Programme in a very short time with the aim of achieving an adjustment of the railway system for the liberalised market by 1 July 2013 – when Croatia is set to join the EU. The Programme was drawn up internally without the aid of consultants. The first phase was finalised with the division into three companies as of 31 October 2012, and the implementation of the Programme continues at the same pace through the internal restructuring of each individual company, in order to achieve the set targets.

Thus, a new chapter in the history of Croatian railways began on 1 November 2012 as the following three independent companies became known:

HŽ Infrastruktura

This company’s activities include the manage – ment, maintenance and construction of tracks and traffic regulation. Regular business operations include financing from the state budget and track access charges.

HŽ Putnički prijevoz

This is a passenger transportation operator that aims to achieve sustainable market orientated business operations with minimal state budget subsidies for public interest services.

HŽ Cargo

This is a freight operator that aims to achieve sustainable market orientated freight transportation.

The role of HŽ Holding has been taken over by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Croatia which coordinates the development of the three companies in order to ensure high quality traffic and transport services.