North Macedonia - General Information
North Macedonia (Severna Makedonija/Северна Македонија). Officially the Republic of North Macedonia (Republika Severna Makedonija/Република Северна Македонија).
The country declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in September 1991 and until February 2019 was officially the Republic of Macedonia. However, as a result of objections from Greece to use of the name 'Macedonia', the country joined the United Nations as the 'Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia' (FYROM). It was announced in June 2018 that, with the agreement of Greece, the country was to be renamed the Republic of North Macedonia (Severna Makedonija). The change was overwhelmingly approved in a non-binding referendum. The parliament voted for the name change in mid-October 2018 and it was implemented in February 2019.
National railway system
National Railway Operator
(ŽRSM) Železnici na Republika Severna Makedonija Railways of the Republic of North Macedonia / Железници на Република Северна Македонија Транспорт
Macedonian, using Cyrillic script.
Macedonian Denar (MKD); 1MKD = 100 Deni
numeric 65; alpha MK
The Macedonian Railways Journey Planner appears to have been discontinued. Travellers will need to use the downloadable timetable.
Departure and arrival times from Skopje can be found here but only in Macedonian Cyrillic script
Note that меѓународен воз по релации (превземи) merely accesses HAFAS, for international services.
A good unofficial timetable in German Linien- und Tabellenfahrpläne had 2017/18 information loaded as at 9 August 2018.
A useful site is BalkanViator
- European Railway Atlas: Scandinavia and Eastern Europe by M.G. Ball (1993) (ISBN 0-7110-2072-4)
- European Railway Atlas by M.G. Ball (2008 onwards)
- Annex No. 1 of the Network Statement contains some useful maps
- Thorsten Büker's Map of Albania and Macedonia and Map of Skopje. Note these maps date from 2011 and are no longer updated.
The Macedonian Railways Infrastructure website can be found here
The 2019-2020 network statement is available in Macedonian here. There is no English version on the website.
The 2016-2017 Network Statement (in English) can be downloaded here.
Rule of the road
Right, but the vast majority of the network is single track.
Table No. 1 in Annex No. 2 of the Network Statement gives distances for each station
Recent and future changes
A proposal to construct a new line from Kičevo to Struga in Albania was approved by the government on 22 September 2020. However, as they must now obtain funding of €426, nothing is likely to happen for a long time.
According to the Trainkos (Kosovo) Facebook page, the (Pristine -) Hani-i-Elezit <=> Skopje service resumed on 9 March 2020. It had been reported some time ago that the Skopje <=> Hani-i-Elezit service was usually replaced by buses or cancelled; further information would be welcomed by the compilers.
In 2012 the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) provided a €46.4m 15-year loan to fund construction of the 30.8 km Kumanovo – Beljakovce line, the first phase of the projected (Skopje -) Kumanovo - Beljakovce - Gjueshevo (- Sofia) line, to provide a direct link with Bulgaria. In December 2018 the EBRD agreed to provide €68.6m of co-financing for the 34 km Beljakovce – Kriva Palanka line, the second phase of the project. The final phase would take the line across the border to Gyueshevo by means of a lengthy tunnel. Work on the Kumanovo - Beljakovce section began in March 2014. Completion was allegedly planned within two years but it has been postponed several times. On 29 May 2020 the contractors terminated the Kumanovo – Beljakovce contract, with the work only half complete. The future of this project is now presumably uncertain.
Work resumed in February 2018 on rebuilding the Bitola - Kremenica - Neos Kafkasos (Greece) line, which has been out of use for several years. It was to have reopened by 2014 but the project has been subject to delays and cancellations. As at June 2019 track was complete across the border with Greece.
With effect from 21 August 2015 and until further notice the Thessaloniki - Idomeni - Gevgelija section of the Thessaloniki - Beograd service was provided by a coach connection, initially due to the migrant crisis. This was reduced even further from 20 October 2016 when services between Niš(ŽS) and Skopje were suspended because of engineering work but reinstated to/from Gevgelija for the summer season from 1 June 2017. By 2018 the only passenger service operating over the Tabanovci - Preševo border crossing into Serbia were summer-only train pair 334 and 335 between Topčider (Beograd) and Thessaloníki via Skopje. These ran from 1 June to 1 October 2018 but have not run since and even then the cross-border service into Greece between Gevgelija and Thessaloníki was still provided by buses.
Services over the Gevgelija - Idomeni cross-border into Greece have been intermittently suspended previously, it ceased from 13 February 2011 along with all other border crossings with Greece but then a weekly summer-only service reportedly ran between July and September 2012. Then the Beograd [overnight] - Skopje - Thessaloniki and vv summer only service were reintroduced from 10 May 2014 until as above.