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Nataša Bezmarević, Branch Manager Serbia, DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH

Focus On Electrifying Train Lines

Deutsche Bahn has been providing engineering, consulting and train operation services, as well as digital systems, for many years and has successfully implemented railway infrastructure projects worldwide. Its portfolio has expanded together with its geographic range over the years

This is a company that designs and implements tailormade rail transportation and mobility concepts for its clients that are up to the challenges of our time. As a company that’s keen to develop clear and friendly communication with clients, it always takes project specific requests into consideration, while ensuring high-quality, sustainable solutions and cost effectiveness.

How much has railway infrastructure and rail traffic changed over the course of the 11 years that you’ve been operating in Serbia? It’s as though this isn’t the same country, and your company also deserves credit for that…

Over the past decade, the Republic of Serbia has invested a lot in the development of infrastructure, especially in the energy and transport sectors. A number of largescale projects have been completed and are still being constructed across the entire Western Balkans. Serbia is developing the first highspeed line – making it the region’s leader in rail development.

A train that travels at speeds of up to 200 km/h, our own train, on our own tracks, is no longer a dream of our future, but rather a reality today. What’s the next step?

This is only the beginning of faster and more environmentally friendly transport connections, sustainable solutions that will allow not only the shortening of travel times, but also the reducing of pollution and unburdening of roads. As a next step, a network that connects the country from north to south, from border to border, will have to be created, allowing trains to reach speeds of up to 200 km/h.

Copyright: DB AG / Max Lautenschlaeger

The adoption of technical interoperability standards will help improve safety, while compliance with European standards and norms will lead to smooth passenger and freight transport seamlessly connecting European countries, without limitations imposed by nation-specific standards.

You have experts in all engineering disciplines who are constantly advancing their knowhow, while as a company you’ve amassed many decades of experience and thousands of successfully implemented works. Is it thanks to a combination of all of this that you’re able to offer an entire range of various services?

We offer sustainable solutions in support of technical development, including digital solutions like measuring and diagnostic technology and rail condition monitoring. DB Engineering & Consulting recently joined the globally active DB E.C.O Group, which combines engineering, rail and digital expertise. We also operate trains of public railway companies, which means that we offer services along the entire life cycle of railway infrastructure projects: from planning to commercial use.

Serbia is developing the first high-speed line – making it the region’s leader in rail development

Do you agree that better connectivity and the improved transport of both people and freight should be the end goal of the development of rail transport in Southeast Europe?

If I didn’t agree, I wouldn’t be doing this. I strongly believe that rail transport is the future and that one day we may, as part of Deutsche Bahn, contribute to the introduction of zero-emissions solutions in the Western Balkans. For the moment, the focus is mainly on electrifying existing lines, but it’s our ambition to introduce hydrogen powered trains and filling and charging infrastructure.

Does state investment in railway infrastructure create new opportunities for private investment, an improved economy and higher living standards for all citizens?

Investments in rail offer numerous opportunities, both for citizens and for a country’s cities and economic regions. In order to better connect urban centres and prevent major cities from choking in traffic jams and smog, infrastructure and mobility services must adapt to the rapid pace of expanding populations. This is no easy task: it calls for innovative and sustainable solutions that move people and goods quickly from A to B – whether for short trips through densely populated megacities or for long-distance transportation.

These are exactly the kinds of solutions that we develop for our clients: we design and implement tailormade rail transportation and mobility concepts that are up to the challenges of our time.

How would you assess your cooperation with the company Serbian Railways Infrastructure and the relevant ministry? Which companies are your biggest clients in the private sector?

As a company that provides engineering and consulting services in the railway sector, we’re mainly oriented towards working with stateowned companies and public authorities. Our operations in Serbia necessarily mean that we cooperate closely with IŽS, as well as with the ministry. We are therefore keen to develop clear and friendly communication with our clients, taking into consideration project specific requests while ensuring quality, sustainable solutions and cost effectiveness. Our experience to date has been very positive, and we hope to be involved in new opportunities to cooperate beyond the high-speed Belgrade-Budapest line project and the upcoming Niš-Dimitrovgrad project, the design project for the Reconstruction and modernisation of the Valjevo-Vrbnica railway line, the HSL1 Belgrade-Stara Pazova supervision project and technical assistance on the Čortanovci Viaduct.

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