Kosovo - General Information
National railway system
Hekurudhat e Kosovës (HK) took over operations previously managed by the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) in 2008, except those north of Mitrovica. In 2011 HK was divided into a Train Operating Company (Trainkos) and an Infrasructure Company (Infrakos), both State-owned.
National Railway Operator
Trainkos is the National Railway Operator in the Albanian-speaking area. In spite of having an English option, its website is almost entirely in Albanian or Serbian.
Albanian. Serbian in a number of areas including Mitrovica.
Information for trains in the Albanian-speaking areas is available at www.trainkos.com. Change the language to Albanian (Shqip). The linked timetables commenced in December 2019 but note there are no additional locals from Prishtinë to Hani i Elezit, only the Skopje pair. For trains in the Serb-speaking area north of Mitrovica, use the Serbian Railways website and enter KRALJEVO to KOSOVSKA MITROVICA SEVER.
A timetable leaflet in English is available sporadically.
A useful site is BalkanViator
- European Railway Atlas (All-Europe Edition) by M.G. Ball.
- European Railway Atlas (Regional Series - The Balkans) by M.G. Ball.
- Mapa Kolejowa Serbii, Kosowa, Czarnogóry (Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro) by W. Kolondra.
- Thorsten Büker's Map of Serbia and Montenegro.
- There is also a good map on the Kosrail website. Clicking on a route on the map brings up a page all about that line (in German).
Infrakos is the Infrastructure Authority. In spite of having an English option, its website is almost entirely in Albanian or Serbian.
Publishing > NETWORK STATEMENT provides an English language Network Statement.
Rule of the road
There are no multiple track routes.
Detailed distances are given in Appendix 1.1 of the Network Statement.
A one page diagram giving the kilometerage of every location is available on the Kosrail website.
Recent and future changes
Passenger transport was interrupted from 13.03.2020 (Prishtina - Hani i Elezit - Prishtina) and 14.03.2020 (Prishtina - Peja - Prishtina) but gradually resumed on 18.05.2020. According to the Trainkos (Kosovo) Facebook page, the (Pristine -) Hani-i-Elezit <=> Skopje service resumed on 9 March 2020.
The timetables posted valid from December 2019 show no locals from Prishtinë to Hani i Elezit, the only service on the line are the daily IC pair through to Skopje in North Macedonia. It should be noted that operation of the cross border section beyond Hani i Elezit is very unreliable due to locomotive availability issues on North Macedonia Railways.
The EBRD will contribute €209m towards a project to modernise the line from Pristina to Hani i Elezit (North Macedonian border) and then the line from Pristina to Leshak (Serbian frontier). This should be complete by 2022.
A single train pair resumed passenger operations between Prishtinë/Priština and Pejë/Peć on 9 October 2017, increased to two pairs on 23 April 2018.
All services operated by HK, other than that between Prishtinë/Priština and Hani i Elezit/Đeneral Janković (for a connection to Skopje), were withdrawn on 3 August 2017 until further notice owing to lack of finance.
The railways in Kosovo have suffered from the political problems in the area since the war in the late 1990s. The routes were:
- Fushë-Kosovë/Kosovo Polje - Hani i Elezit/Đeneral Janković (and across the border to Skopje in North Macedonia)
- Fushë-Kosovë/Kosovo Polje - Mitrovicë/Mitrovica - Zvečan - Lešak (and across the border to Rudnica and Kraljevo in Serbia)
- Fushë-Kosovë/Kosovo Polje - Prishtinë/Priština (and across the border to Merdare in Serbia)
- Fushë-Kosovë/Kosovo Polje - Gračanica
- Fushë-Kosovë/Kosovo Polje - Klinë/Klina - Pejë/Peć and Klinë/Klina - Prizren (closed)
In December(?) 2013 Serbian Railways extended their Kraljevo - Zvečan service to a new station at Mitrovica North (Kosovska Mitrovica Sever). Fushë-Kosovë/Kosovo Polje - Zvečan ceased operating in early 2008 following Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence, when the line between Mitrovicë/Mitrovica and Lešak was taken over by Serbian Railways. HK reintroduced the service between Pristina and Pejë/Peć in 2006. The so-called “Freedom of Movement” train operated by UNMIK ran from 2004 between Hani i Elezit/General Jankovic and Lešak via Fushë-Kosovë/Kosovo Polje, Mitrovicë/Mitrovica and Zvečan. However, the There was an UNMIK service to Gračanica for a few years in the mid 2000s.
For train services currently advertised, see Kosovo - Other Sparse services.
From June 1999, Kosovo was a province of Serbia and was under the administrative control of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and is now considered independent following the conclusion of the political process to determine Kosovo’s final status envisaged in UN Security Council resolution 1244 and a period of “supervised independence” from 2008 to 2012. However, this has not been formally recognised by all countries, especially Serbia, which still considers Kosovo to be part of its sovereign territory.
Travellers entering Serbia from Kosovo may well encounter problems, including possibly being refused entry, if they do not have a Serbian entrance stamp in their passport. It is therefore recommended one should travel only from Serbia to Kosovo and not in the other direction.