Serious rail accident in Croatia blocks Mediterranean corridor near Rijeka

Serious rail accident in Croatia blocks Mediterranean corridor near Rijeka

Serious rail accident in Croatia blocks Mediterranean corridor near Rijeka

On December 11, 2023, at 8:49 a.m., a Rail Cargo Carrier – Croatia (RCC) freight train derailed on a single-track route between Meja and Škrljevo stations. It collided with a railcar belonging to the Croatian Railway Infrastructure Company (HŽ Infrastructura). Traffic on this railway line of the Mediterranean Corridor to the port of Rijeka is completely suspended until the investigation is completed and tracks are cleared and repaired. Passenger transport was replaced by buses. Repair times can take a longer time.
The accident site. Photos (3) Sindikat prometnika vlakova Hrvatske

The 19-car freight train was carrying grain that now lied scattered on the tracks. The RCC train was heading towards Rijeka. For unknown reasons, the train passed the mandatory stop at Meja station. The employees of HŽ Infrastructura and the railway immediately notified their colleagues who were on the railway section to Škrljevo at the time. This gave them time to leave their vehicle on the track before the accident. As a result of the incident, the Rail Cargo Group’s two locomotives, a Vectron and a Taurus locomotive, were seriously damaged. The HŽ Infrastructura vehicle completely derailed.

The derailed carriage for track maintenance.

The inspection of the crash site was completed on December 12, 2023. The probable cause of the accident is brake failure on the freight train. But this has not yet been officially confirmed. “At this point we cannot say whether the cause is a technical or a human factor. We are giving the inspectors time to complete the investigation and will inform the public about the results,” said Stipe Barišić, head of the local transport sector at Croatian Railway Infrastructure.


This was not the first serious rail accident in Croatia this year. On September 9, 2023, at around 9:30 p.m., passenger train No. 2506 was traveling on a freight train on the Vinkovci route between Okučani and Novska stations. Three people died and eleven were injured. The passenger train hit the stationary freight train at a speed of 100 km/h.


The rail accident is currently interrupting the train connection that Maersk had introduced just a month earlier between the Austrian city of Enns and the Croatian port of Rijeka.

Train start to Austria in the Adria terminal: members of the Maersk project group. Photo Maersk

On November 11th, the first train to the Container Terminal Enns (CTE) left the Adriatic Gate Container Terminal (AGCT). The block train is operated by Maersk Line, with ČD Cargo Adria taking over the rail transport. Emmanuel Papagiannakis, CEO of AGCT, commented: “For the first time, major Austrian shippers can be connected directly by rail to AGCT Rijeka, providing a valuable alternative route with reliable transit times. We believe that with the collaboration of all partners, including Maersk, ČD Cargo and CTE Enns, the product will remain successful and attract more shippers.”

The Austrian connection expands the regular weekly block trains that already cover Serbia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2022, Maersk had also launched a regular train connection between Rijeka via the Adriatic Gate Container Terminal (AGCT) and Paskov in the Czech Republic, as an extension of trains to Hungary and on to Slovakia. Rail transport is operated by ČD Cargo Adria, a subsidiary of the Czech freight operator ČD Cargo. It is the largest rail transport provider in the Czech Republic and one of the largest rail operators on the Trans-European Network Corridor with activities in Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Poland, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and also Croatia. hfs

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