Difference between revisions of "Albania - General Information"

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===Printed Timetable===
 
===Printed Timetable===
 
The [http://hsh.com.al/index.php/cmimi-i-biletave/ HSH website] has limited timetable information (based on Durrës) in a Word document which is available by clicking on 'Orari Trenave Durres'.
 
The [http://hsh.com.al/index.php/cmimi-i-biletave/ HSH website] has limited timetable information (based on Durrës) in a Word document which is available by clicking on 'Orari Trenave Durres'.
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 +
The [https://www.europeanrailtimetable.eu/ European Rail Timetable] contains timings for Albania but these may be out of date.
  
 
For details of trains currently running (as far as is known) see the [[Albania_-_Lines_with_Obscure_or_Sparse_passenger_services#Other Sparse services|Other Sparse services section]]. All services in Albania could be considered sparse by European standards.
 
For details of trains currently running (as far as is known) see the [[Albania_-_Lines_with_Obscure_or_Sparse_passenger_services#Other Sparse services|Other Sparse services section]]. All services in Albania could be considered sparse by European standards.

Revision as of 15:51, 26 September 2018

Country Name

Albania (Shqipëtare)

National railway system

Train services in Albania are subject to alteration and cancellation at short notice. As at August 2018 passenger trains were reported to be running from Durrës to Kashar, Elbasan, Shkoder and Fier.

The compilers particularly welcome reports of railway operations from travellers to Albania.

National Railway Operator

Hekurudha Shqipëtare (HSH).

Infrastructure Authority

Unknown, but probably HSH.

Language

Albanian

Currency

Lek

UIC code

numeric 41; alpha AL.

Timetable

Journey Planner

None.

Downloadable Timetable

The HSH website has limited timetable information (based on Durrës) in a Word document which is available by clicking on 'Orari Trenave Durres'.

A good unofficial timetable in German Kursbuch der Albanischen Eisenbahn was available for 2015, but has not been updated since - not least because there are hardly any trains to show in it.

Printed Timetable

The HSH website has limited timetable information (based on Durrës) in a Word document which is available by clicking on 'Orari Trenave Durres'.

The European Rail Timetable contains timings for Albania but these may be out of date.

For details of trains currently running (as far as is known) see the Other Sparse services section. All services in Albania could be considered sparse by European standards.

Engineering Information

None.

Maps

There is no official HSH railway map. Quail Map Company publishes the Albanian Railway Guide, which includes track diagrams, motive power details and other information. General maps can be misleading, because they may be based on deliberately inaccurate information provided by the former communist government.

Ticketing

There is no railrover ticket covering Albania, but fares are extremely cheap and based on a zonal system. Tickets are not sold in advance, and are valid only on the first train following issue.

Gauge

Standard

Electrification

None

Rule of the road

There are no double track lines, except in the immediate vicinity of principal stations, and the track used depends on operating convenience.

Other Railways

None

Tourist line

None

Metro

None

Trams

None

Recent and future changes

The branch to Rreshen closed to all traffic in November 1996 and the track was used to repair damage to the Shkodër line.

The line between Fier and Ballsh closed to passenger traffic in 2001.

The Durrës avoiding line linking the Tiranë and Elbasan/Vlorë lines, formerly used by passenger trains in summer, was out of use by 2006 and lifted by October 2012.

The once daily train from Rrogozhinë to Pogradec was 'temporarily' withdrawn beyond Librazhd (a short distance east of Elbasan) in summer 2012, apparently after damage from road construction work. The line however has never reopened beyond Librazhd and now only runs to Elbasan.

Tiranë to Vorë was closed in September 2013 for redevelopment of Tiranë station. A rail service between Vorë and Kashar, about 8 km from Tiranë, was reinstated on 26 May 2015, but later withdrawn between Vorë and Durrës. A bus link supposedly operates between Kashar and Tiranë city centre, but travellers have reported no service being provided. It is understood that the new Tiranê station will be in the Laprake area, some distance short of the site of the old one.

Trains on all lines other than Durrës to Kashar were cancelled from 9 July 2016, but were reinstated to Librazhd and Shkodër later that month.

All train services in Albania were suspended in November 2016, because unpaid fuel bills caused the railway company's bank accounts to be frozen. By February 2017 passenger services had resumed between Durrës and Kashar. By July 2017 trains had also resumed between Durrës, Shkoder and Elbasan.

The HSH website has a Word document dated 28 August 2018 (click on 'Orari Trenavi Durres') which shows two train pairs from Durrës to Elbasan, one pair to Fier on the Vlorë line, one to Shkoder and one to Kashar.

The situation remains very fluid and travellers should be aware that further changes may be made at short notice. The entire network remains in danger of collapse.

It is not known which lines remain open for freight, but the cross-border line from Montenegro was observed to be in use in August 2018.

HSH is to fund a project to rehabilitate Durrës – Tiranë and construct a 7.4 km branch from a triangular junction at the 27 km point to serve Tiranë Airport, using a €36·9m loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development and up to €35·5m in grants from the European Commission and other institutions. Companies were invited in April 2018 to prequalify for the contract, which is expected to take 30 months.

Special notes

By comparison with other European systems, HSH is a very primitive railway, using elderly rolling stock acquired second hand and now in very poor condition. It is common to find carriages in service with broken glass in the windows.

There are no international passenger trains to Albania, the one railway into Montenegro being used only for freight traffic. Routes from Western Europe are by air, road or ferry from Brindisi (Italy). Coaches operate between Tiranë and various German and Eastern European cities.

Further information about Albanian Railways can be found at www.angelfire.com/ak/hekurudha/index.html although this website has not been updated for several years.

See also