Croatia - General Information

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Country Name

Croatia (Hrvatska)

National railway system

Hrvatske Železnice (HŽ). In 2006 the former state railway company was replaced by a holding company (HŽ Holding d.o.o.) plus subsidiary companies for the management of infrastructure, passenger services and freight services. In November 2012 the holding company was dissolved and the former subsidiaries restructured as stand-alone companies.

National Railway Operator

Passenger train operations are the responsibility of HŽ Putnički Prijevoz (HŽPP)

Freight operations are the responsibility of HŽ Cargo

Other Operators

There are no operators competing directly with HŽPP on domestic passenger services within Croatia. The following operators run trains to/from neighbouring countries, primarily during the summer months and targeted at international tourist traffic:

  • Optima Express operate trains including car transport between Austria and Bulgaria via Croatia.
  • ÖBB EuroNight operate services during the summer between Wien and Split.

Language

Croatian.

Currency

Formerly the Kuna, from 1st January 2023 the official currency is the Euro.

UIC code

numeric 78; alpha HR

Timetable

Journey Planner

Available on the main page of the HŽPP web site.

Actual Train Times

A real-time tracker is available here.

Downloadable Timetable

HŽPP produce separate timetable documents for domestic and for international services. They make minor updates to the timetables throughout the year on an as-required basis and the latest versions can be accessed from the HŽPP Croatian language page, then click on "Vozni red". The timetables as at April 2024 can be downloaded directly from here: domestic services and international services

Printed Timetable

Vozni Red, published annually. This includes introductory material in German. Presentation is straightforward, with use of standard symbols.

Engineering Information

Go to the HŽ Infrastruktura page, scroll down to find a list of lines where services are affected. However the Croatian language page is likely to be kept more up to date.

Bus Information

The largest company is Croatia Bus

Maps

Printed Maps

Web-based Maps

Infrastructure

Infrastructure Authority

HŽ Infrastruktura d.o.o.

Network Statement

The Network Statement can be downloaded from the Network Statement page.

Gauge

Standard.

Tram Systems are 1000 mm gauge.

Electrification

25 kV 50 Hz. Moravice to Šapjane via Rijeka was 3 kV dc, but this was progressively switched to 25 kV 50 Hz on various dates in December 2012.

Rule of the road

Right.

Distances

km post distances are given for each station in Annex 2.13 of the Network Statement.

Private railways

None.

Tourist lines

None.

Metro

None.

Trams/LRT-Systems

Osijek, Zagreb.

The UrabnRailNet site has basic diagrams of the tramway systems along with links to the local operators.

A Track plan for the Zagreb tram system is available on the Gleisplanweb site.

Links at Sinfin.net site

See also Croatia - Tram services over obscure routes

Recent and future changes

Future changes

Tables 47/47a: The newly installed electrification between Vinkovci and Vukovar was energised in April 2024. Work has been underway to upgrade the line since April 2020 and should be completed in the second half of 2024.

With substantial financial support from the EU (Connecting Europe Facility and Cohesion Fund), a series of projects are underway to upgrade the entire route from the Hungarian border at Gyékényes to the port of Rijeka which forms part of the TEN-T Mediterranean Corridor. The work will result in a high quality double-track railway throughout. Projects in progress include:

  • Križevci – Koprivnica - Hungarian border. Upgrade work started in 2020, estimated completion in 2025.
  • Dugo Selo – Križevci. Upgrade work started in 2016 but has been seriously delayed due to the failure of a sub-contractor. Revised estimate for completion now 2025.
  • Hrvatski Leskovac – Karlovac. Upgrade work began September 2022, expected completion Q1 2025.
  • Karlovac – Oštarije. Preparation of study / design documentation for new double-track route was completed in 2023.
  • Oštarije - Škrljevo (Rijeka). Preliminary studies for new double-track route.

The government has promised that there will be a focus on renovating local and regional railways starting in 2025, which could lead eventually to the reopening of the presently disused railways between Sisak Caprag and Petrinja (the eastern 10 km of the former line between Sisak Caprag and Karlovac which closed in the early 1990s) and between Čaglin and Našice (which was suspended in 2010 due to poor condition of the infrastructure). These projects would not be eligible for EU funding support and would have to be financed from the State budget.

Rijeka, Krk bridge: The development plan for Rijeka Port includes the building of a new container terminal near Omišalj and expansion of the existing LNG/oil terminals on the island of Krk, where Rijeka airport is also located. The existing bridge to the island is in poor condition and the government is planning to construct a new bridge, which will have two decks including one dedicated to a rail link for the anticipated traffic. The necessary studies and detail design will take several years, with construction completed by 2029 at the earliest.

Recent changes

The following changes occurred at the timetable change on 10 December 2023:

  • Table 13. Most services between Zabok and Krapina are operated by buses.
  • Table 18. Services were restored on the cross border branch line from Mursko Središće to Lendava. Two trains operate Mondays to Fridays and one on Saturdays.
  • Tables 30/47. After several years of being suspended, there are no longer any services shown on the line between Erdut and Bogojevo (Serbia).

Table 61. The Karlovac - Kamanje - Bubnjarci service was replaced by buses from 31 March 2023 owing to the poor condition of the infrastructure. No trains were shown beyond Bubnjarci in the timetable dated 6 February 2023, so services on this section had been withdrawn on or before this date.

A summer seasonal service was restored for 2022 between Sarajevo and Ploče, reopening the Ploče – Metković line (table 74) and associated border crossing. The service ran Fridays / Saturdays / Sundays between 1st July and 11th September, operated by ŽFBH.

Cross border services between Erdut and Bogojevo (Serbia) reappeared in the 2021-22 timetable with two pairs of trains, however the Serbian timetable showed them all as suspended. It is believed that these services did not operate. The 2022/23 timetable again showed two pairs of trains, however the Traffic Situation page on the HŽPP web site stated that these were not running at the request of the Serbian Railways, while the Serbian timetable similarly showed the trains but noted them as suspended.

Electrification of the Zaprešić – Zabok line was completed during 2021. The service between Varaždin and Zagreb (table 12) was revised with effect from 12 December 2021 such that most journeys on this route now require a change of train at Zabok.

Cross border services between Mursko Središće and Lendava (Slovenia) and between Bubnjarci and Metlika (Slovenia) were withdrawn from 5 April 2021.

Services on the cross-border line between Erdut and Bogojevo (Serbia) were suspended on 12 March 2020 due to Covid travel restrictions, but were not restored and there were no services shown in the 2020-2021 timetable starting 13 December 2020.

The 12.2 km cut-off linking Gradec on the Zagreb – Križevci – Koprivnica line with Sveti Ivan Žabno on the Križevci – Bjelovar branch opened on 15 December 2019. A new table 22 was created in the timetable.

Passenger services from Beli Manastir to Magyarboly (Hungary) restarted from 9 December 2018

Passenger services were restored over the whole of the Banova Jaruga – Daruvar – Pčelić route (table 41) on 5 February 2018.

The only passenger service [a pair of day trains between Sarajevo and Zagreb] using the Dobrljin ŽRS - Volinja HŽ border crossing were withdrawn at the December 2016 Timetable change

The following lines reopened at the timetable change on 14 December 2015:

  • 30/47 Erdut - Bogojevo (Serbia)
  • 42 Pleternica - Čaglin

and the following line lost its passenger service

  • 61 Bubnjarci - Metlika (Slovenia) [Subsequently reopened from an unknown date]

The following lines reopened at the timetable change on 14 December 2014:

  • 13 Đurmanec - Sveti Rok ob Sotli (Slovenia)
  • 17 Macinec - Središče (Slovenia)
  • 18 Mursko Središče - Lendava (Slovenia)
  • 31 Beli Manastir - Magyarbóly (Hungary) but was suspended soon afterwards due to the refugee crisis.

As part of an economy programme, services over the following lines were withdrawn from 24 April 2014:

  • 41 Banova Jaruga – Daruvar
  • 45 Strizivojna-Vrpolje – Slavonski Šamac
  • 74 Ploče – Metković
  • 71 Knin – Zadar, although this is supposedly only whilst major engineering work is undertaken.

The following changes were made with the 2013-2014 timetable commencing 15 December 2013:

  • 61 The cross border (Karlovac -) Kamanje HŽ - Rosalnice SŽ (- Metlika) service was reinstated
  • 74 The international train between Sarajevo and Ploče was withdrawn leaving just local Metkovic - Ploče services [but see above]. This was the opposite of what was announced earler by HZ.

The following changes were made with the 2012-2013 timetable commencing 9 December 2012:

  • 12 The cross border (Čakovec -) Kotoriba HŽ - Murakeresztúr MÁV service lost all passenger services.
  • 31 The cross border line from Beli Manastir to Magyarboldy (MÁV) lost all passenger services
  • 45 The cross border line from (Strizivojna-Vrpolje -) Slavonski Šamac HŽ - Šamac ŽFBH - (Doboj) closed
  • 47 Vukovar Borovo Naselje - Dalj lost all passenger services, whereupon
  • 47a Vukovar Borovo Naselje - Vukovar was increased from 1 daily service to/from Zagreb to up to 5 pairs a day to/from Vinkovci
  • 61 The cross border (Karlovac -) Kamanje HŽ - Rosalnice SŽ (- Metlika) service was withdrawn.
  • 90 Lupoglav - Buzet had a passenger service only at Easter and summer 2012, but was not shown as running in 2013 so the last train ran in August 2012.

The following changes were made in the 2010/2011 Timetable:

  • 17 Macinec - Središče (Slovenia) Line closed 11 December 2010
  • 32 Bizovac - Belišće: Officially closed to passenger on 11 December 2010
  • 42 Partial reopening: 2 train pairs from Osijek travel 3 km to Našice Grad for onward buses to Pleternica. All other service are provided by buses from the junction station at Našice.
  • 48 (Drenovci -) Gunja - Brčko (Bosnia-Herzegovina) lost its sole cross-border service 11 December 2010
  • 71 Knin - Zadar, which had been under threat of closure, was reduced from five to three pairs a day.
  • 90 Lupoglav - Buzet, the cross-border service to Slovenia was reduced to 1 Easter & Summer-only train each way.

It had been widely reported that all Croatia - Hungary cross-border lines would lose their local passenger services but they continued for one futher year before withdrawal on 9 December 2012.

It was reported early in 2010 that HŽ planned to withdraw over 200 passenger trains, resulting in a number of lines having no service at weekends. On 5 May 2010 the Ministry of Transport rejected this list but announced "temporary closure" of 3 lines from 16 May owing to track defects, with resulting bus substitutions. Therefore on 17 May 2010 the following sections lost all train services:

  • 41 part: Sirač- Pčelić
  • 42 part: Pleternica - Našice
  • Knin - Licko Dugo Polje (on the line to Bihac, where passenger services had been suspended since the civil war) lost its remaining freight traffic.

The following routes were reinstated in the 2008/2009 timetable (the first two were casualties of the 1990s Croatian war of independence):

  • Vukovar-Borovo Naselje - Vukovar [but only one train per day each way]
  • Vinkovci - Osijek direct
  • Savski Marof - Harmica (trains between Savski Marof and Kumrovec via Harmica were replaced by buses, due to poor track condition, in 2001)
  • Ogulin avoiding line (after a gap of some years, again used by fast services between Zagreb and Split)

Track has been lifted from the war-damaged line from Karlovac to Sisak, but passenger services have been introduced over two lines that were freight-only under JŽ:

  • Bjelovar to Kloštar and
  • Bizovac to Belišće

Čulinec and Sesvete – Zagreb Klara staff trains via Ranžirni Kolodvor Zagreb ceased as from the 2008/2009 timetable.

The line from Erdut to Bogojevo (Serbia) reopened to freight traffic on 8 August 2008 following rebuilding of the river bridge damaged by bombing in 1999. A limited passenger service commenced on 14 December 2015.

Cross-border services to Bosnia-Herzegovina resumed in 2001/2002 between Volinja and Dobrljin, between Slavonski Šamac and Bosanski Šamac and between Drenovci and Brčko via Gunja but all subsequently lost passenger services. It was reported that the line between Knin and Bihac reopened early in 2001, but no passenger service was ever advertised.

Special notes

Under no circumstances should disused railway lines or installations be explored, because they may not have been cleared of mines.

The Buzet to Pula line is accessible by rail only via Slovenia. A bus service, on which rail tickets are accepted, runs between Rijeka and Lupoglav and is the preferred route from Zagreb to Pula. An international ticket, at a higher fare, is required for travel on a through train via Ljubljana and passengers are subject to passport and customs checks at both border crossings.

See also