Rail Infrastructure

NTU International assisted the preparation of major railway infrastructure in Croatia in 2012-2013

Rail transport has been one of the most used transportation tools for decades. Still in the more recent times, railways present several advantages, such as the possibility of increased volumes of cargo and human transportation in landlocked countries. For these reasons, NTU´s aim is to guarantee to its clients the most efficient and suitable projects and actions in the railways sector.

In this sector, we offer feasibility studies and design reviews, rail services improvement strategies, and studies on rail market and regulatory authority.

NTU has pluriennal experience in railways investment programmes, which aim to ensure a better connectivity within the studied country and between its neighbor nations. Traffic studies are often conducted to guarantee the most efficient results when applying the projects.

Project Preparatory Technical Assistance for CAREC Railway Connectivity Investment Programme in Pakistan (2017)

African Development Bank

The overall objective of the CAREC (Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation) Railway Connectivity Investment Program is to increase the efficiency and the competitiveness of the railway transport system of Pakistan. The specific objective of the project is to support the initiative of the Government of Pakistan for upgrading the Mainline-1 (ML-1) including rail track upgrading and dualization, new signalling and telecommunications system and upgrading of passenger facilities and railway stations. The purpose of the NTU was the development of the ambitoius rail sector investment programme and its financig under the MFF (multitranche financing facility) Packaging.

The Mainline-1 (ML-1) consists of 4 tranches: (i) tranche 1 for upgrading and dualization of rail track for Peshawar-Rawalpindi (173 km) including new signalling and telecommunications system (including power supply) and upgrading of passenger facilities in Peshawar and Rawalpindi stations; (ii) tranche 2 for construction of new double-track rail line for Kaluawal-Pindora (52 km); (iii) tranche 3 for rehabilitation and dualization of rail track for Lahore-Lalamusa (133 km) including new signalling and telecommunications system (including power supply) and upgrading of passenger facilities in Lahore station; and (iv) tranche 4 for rehabilitation and dualization of rail track for Lalamusa-Rawalpindi (105 km excluding the Kaluwal-Pindora section) including new signalling and telecommunications system (including power supply). It also includes purchase of locomotives and rolling stocks that will be required to meet the improved line capacities on this section.

NTU was appointed to carry out the following activities under the above-mentioned investment programme:

  • Railway Sector Assessment and MFF (multitranche financing facility) Packaging
  • Technical feasibility assessment, cost estimation, engineering design update, and procurement packaging for Tranche 1 Project
  • Social, Poverty, and Gender Analysis
  • Economic Assessment of the investment projects
  • Support with modernization of the Pakistan Railways including development of IT-based accounting system and migration of accounting data and information into the new accounting system.

Expected Results:

The technical assistance of NTU is instrumental to increasing of the competitiveness of rail sector of Pakistan through improving the railway corridor of Lahore-Peshawar and the institutional efficiency of Pakistan Railways.

Moldovan Railway Restructuring Project: Feasibility Study for Railway Infrastructure Needs Assessment in Moldova (2016-2017)


The overall objective of the project in line with the Moldova Railways (CFM-Calea Ferata din Moldova) strategy is to increase railway transport capacity, reduce railway travel times and align the conditions and features of the railway infrastructure of Moldova with the European standards and the existing European regulations. The purpose of the NTU’s assignment is the preparation of a Feasibility Study to define a Priority Investment Programme (PIP) for the rail infrastructure rehabilitation works on the following main lines: Bender – Chisinau – Ungheni – Balti – Ocnita or Bender – Basarabeasca – Etulia – Giurgiulesti.

Projects activities included:

  • Data collection and analysis
  • Technical assessment of the rail infrastructure
  • Analysis of demand levels and identification of Project Options
  • Environmental and Social Appraisal
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) and Priority Investment Programme (PIP)

Expected Results:

NTU is contributing to set the basis for railway infrastructural modernization and the enhancement of safety, efficiency and performance standards in the rail sector in Moldova, and improvement of quality of rail services provided to users.

Technical Assistance for the Implementation of IPA Funds in the Field of Transport (2012-2013)

European Commission

The overall objective of the project was to support development of quality infrastructure projects and implementation of programmes in the area of transport for enhancing competitiveness and regional development of Croatia. The purpose of NTU’s assignment was to assist the EU Delegation with preparation of major railway infrastructure projects as well as with monitoring of implementation of ongoing railway infrastructure projects, under the IPA Programme, Component III Transport Operational Programme.

Activities undertaken by NTU include:

  • Assessment of the railway infrastructure projects related to the upgrade of the corridor Vb, section Dugo Selo – Krizevci including:
  • Check land expropriation issues, readiness of the design documentation, availability of permits; and
  • Revision of tender dossiers for the Civil Works and Electrification, Signalling and Interlocking Systemand telecommunication, and Supervision of works
  • Monitoring of implementation of the rail investment projects for: Upgrade of signalling system and interlocking in Zagreb main Railway Station; and Upgrade of the Corridor X, Section Okucani – Novska
  • Carried out on-the-spot checks on the works implementation against the contract conditions, technical specifications and all relevant standards and regulations.
  • Support with monitoring of work advancement status and assessment of both works contractors and supervision engineers.

Achieved Results:

NTU’s assistance to the EU Delegation and Croatian authorities contributed to accelerating the implementation of railway projects and upgrading of transport infrastructure in Croatia.

Update of the Feasibility Study for Zezelj Rail Bridge (2009-2010)

European Commission

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the reconstruction of the Serbian rail infrastructure network damaged or destroyed during the conflict. NTU supported the achivement of the specific objective of the project that was the reconstruction of the Zezelj Bridge crossing the Danube River, located on the railway line linking Budapest to Belgrade, as part of Pan-European Rail Corridor X.

The activities carried out by NTU included:

  • Update the traffic forecast study
  • Estimate the current project investment costs
  • Perform the economic and financial analysis of the proposed technical solutions
  • Review of detailed design of the Zezelj Rail Bridge

Achieved Results:

NTU’s intervention contributed to the development of rail infrastructure network of Serbia and strengthening of its linkages with the Pan-European Corridors.

Study on Regulatory Options for further Market Opening in Rail Passenger Transport (2009)

European Commission

The overall objective of the project was to support increasing the modal share of the passenger rail transport, thus contributing to reduction of road congestion, road fatalities and GHG emissions. NTU contibuted to the achivement of the specific objective of the project that was to help securing the future of the passenger rail transport for societal and economic reasons and enabling the rail sector to play a critical role in providing increased transport capacity for an expanding European economy.

Activities undertaken by NTU include:

  • Carry out a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the domestic passenger rail transport market including total traffic and its evolution, market segments (regional rail transport under Public Service Obligations, long-distance, etc.), key rail transport actors, rail transport revenues, etc.
  • Analysis of different models of market regulation for introducing competition in domestic passenger rail transport (including open access, competitive tenders for public service/franchise contracts, competitive tendering of concessions contracts) in the EU and other relevant countries.
  • Assessment of the interaction of various regulatory models and their effects on the market performance, quality of service, public finance, users’ mobility and accessibility.
  • Assessment of the economic, social and environmental effects of further market opening options in domestic rail passenger transport in the EU.

Achieved Results:

The findings of the study carried out by NTU served as input to the European Commission’s regular monitoring of rail market developments, feeding to the future policy discussion.

Technical, Socio-Economic and Supply/Demand Study of the Ferrmed Great Rail Network and its Zone of Influence  (2007-2008)

Russia, Finland, Latvia, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg,
United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, Andorra, Spain, Morocco and Algeria
European Commission

The overall objective of the project was to contribute to sustainable transport development and the reduction of pollution and gas emissions through the improvement of management and operational systems in the rail freight transportation network in the European Union. NTU supported the achivement of the specific objective of the project that was the development of railway infrastructures for freight transport in the main FERRMED Great Axis network, improve the ports and airports connections with their respective hinterlands in the European Union and in the neighboring countries, and stimulate free competition in the rail freight transport network.

The FERRMED Great Axis Rail Network and its Zone of Influence (Scandinavia-Rhine-Rhône-Western Mediterranean) covers the area of main economic and logistic activities of the European Union, with the main trunk of the axis stretching from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean. The purpose of NTU’s study was to analyse the different modes of freight transportation system in the Great Axis Network and its zone of influence aiming at a transfer of 30-35% of the land traffic to rail, and an improvement of the conditions of capacity, intermodality and interoperability of the rail network.

Activities carried out by NTU include:

  • Performing a supply/demand study determining and characterising in a quantitative and qualitative manner the demand and the supply of different modes of transport along the Great Axis Network up to 2025.
  • Carrying out a technical study including a detailed analysis of the rail infrastructures inherent to the Great Axis Network, the major interconnection branches and the complementary inter-modal terminals, the operation conditions, environment, FERRMED standards and new transport methods in order to match the supply with the demand.
  • Carrying out a socio-economic study defining the benefits of the modernisation of the FERRMED Great Axis Network and its major interconnection axes and determining the necessary investments and the forecasted cost-efficiency, as well as analysing the impact on job creation.
  • Assessing the options for optimizing the full logistics chain considering the intermodality, reducing costs, increasing quality, assuring traceability and reliability, accomplishing lead times and timetables and improving management procedures in the rail transportation system.

Achieved Results:

NTU contributed to the improvement of the rail competitiveness through promoting the FERRMED standards of a reticular and polycentric railway network in the European Union with a high socio-economic and intermodal impact, as well as to promotion of the Eurasian dimension of the European rail corridors.