Hekurudha Shqiptare

Hekurudha Shqiptare

Newly painted T-669 Locomotive at Kashar transit station
Locale Albania
Dates of operation 1945
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Headquarters Durres Railway Station, Durrës, Albania
Website http://www.hsh.com.al/

Hekurudha Shqiptare or HSH (Albanian Railways) is Albania's state-owned operator of the Albanian Railway System. The network's main terminal is the Durrës Railway Station in the port city of Durrës.

HSH's infrastructure runs east to Pogradec (up to Librazhd as of 2012), south to Vlorë and north to Shkodër. There is also a branch line to the capital Tirana (up to Kashar, 10 km away as of 2015). The network was extended beyond Shkodër in the 1980s into what is now Montenegro, via the Albanian border town of Hani i Hotit. But this section of the system is for freight only. There is also no physical rail connection between Albania and neighbouring Macedonia or Greece. Albanian Railways has been described by many travel guides as a tourist attraction and a de facto panoramic journey.

HSH is totally non-electrified, and trains are hauled by Czechoslovak T-669 diesel electric locomotives. The entire system is normally single-track, with bypasses at various points throughout. Second-hand passenger rolling stock from Germany's DB, Italy's FS, Austria's ÖBB, or Poland's PKP is used on the system. Trains have suffered from vandalism such as damage from rocks thrown at carriages or damage to the interiors. Periodically, some lines do not run on a full schedule as parts of the rail track is damaged from landslides or stolen for iron scrap. Plans exist to upgrade the Durrës–Tiranë line linking it with Rinas Airport starting in 2013 although a similar previous plan was rejected by the Albanian government.

Passenger services

Refurbished wagon interior in 2015.

In 2015, some rail stations and rolling stock along the Durres-Tirane line were renovated and adopted a red and white livery. The scenic Librazhd-Pogradec line was closed for passenger traffic in 2012. The stored locomotives and wagons from Prrenjas are being moved to Elbasan. As a result, this section may be dismantled, as it doesn't link any major cities.

There are several freight-only branch lines. Regular freight trains run between Podgorica and Shkodër every weekday (with Albanian and Montenegrin locomotives alternating daily) and between Durrës and the oil refinery at Ballsh once a week. The Tirana-Shkodër and the Durrës-Elbasan lines are normally served by mixed trains.

As of May 27, 2015 until further notice, the following daily trains are in service:[1]

System Map

Hekurudha Shqiptare (HSH)
From Podgorica (freight only)
Border crossing with Montenegro
Hani i Hotit(freight only)
Durrës Railway Station
Xhyrë(freight only)
Qukës(freight only)
Prrenjas(freight only)
Lin(freight only)
Memelisht(freight only)
Gur i Kuq(freight only)
Ballsh(freight only)

Rolling stock



Class Image Type Top speed Number Remarks Built
mph km/h
T-669 1000 DE locomotive 90 61 (series 1001-1061) [2] 1978


Class Image Type Top speed Number Remarks Built
mph km/h
AB 39-78 11 (series 401-411) Former Italian coaches[3] >1959
45 Former Austria[2] Former Austrian numbers 50 81 20-04 000-059. Arrived around 1999
Pafawag 8 (series 52-59) Former Poland typ Osshd Y. Not sure if new or secondhand[4] 1981
Pafawag Bwixd[3] 10 (series 61-70) Former Poland typ Halberstadt/120A. Not sure if new or secondhand[4] 67 stil in service in 2009. 1981
By, Byuu, ABy 12. Series 51 41 21-43 013 - 24[2] Halberstadt mitteleinstiegswagen, bought secondhand from Germany. Original built for GDR railways. German numbers 51 80 21 43
UIC-X 63 (series 301-?) Former Italian coaches series type B 29-38, B 29-40, B 29-70[3] 1992-1993
A 19-40 5 (series 501-505) Former Italian coaches[3]


Class Image Type Top speed Number Remarks Built
Class 56.3400 1'D h2 Steam locomotive 4 A gift from Sovjet Union, this former Austrian and Hungarian rolling stock was a trophy from the WOII.[4]
Class 20 Steam locomotive 2 19?
Class 31 Steam locomotive 1 (31) Steamless shunter 1940
Class 72 Steam locomotive 1 (72) 1941
Class 01 1'D1 ' 2-8-2 Steam locomotive 80 6 (TKt 48.01-48.06) New, built in Poland. Similar to Polish TKt48 class.[4] Possible in service until 1991.[3] 1951, 1952
5 Former German 'Schnellzugwagen' type AB4ü-28. Probably a gift from Sovjet Union, this rolling stock was a trophy from the WOII. Present during the 1949 opening of the first Albanian railway.[4]
Krauss-Maffei 2000 DE locomotive 140 5 (2001-2005) Former German locomotives DB Class 221, bought secondhand in 1989. Shipped in 1989-1990. Taken out of service around 1993. Most scrapped. 1956
T435 0500 DE locomotive 60 10 Identical to Czech 720 class. In 2009, 0524, 0526, 0591 were found in Prrenjas. 1958
T211 0450 DE locomotive 40 4 Identical to Czech T211 class 1959
T458/459 1500 DE locomotive 80 8 Identical to Czech T458 class. In 2009, 1523, 1525, 1526, 1530, 1531 were found in Prrenjas 1963
D 10 (01-10) Chinese built bagage vans. Originally green, later brown colored.[3] Some were seen in 2011, out of service. 1966-1972
B 41 (70-110) Chinese built second class stock.[3] 1966-1972
4 (series 151-154) Second class coach. Built byu Shkodër Wagon Works[3] 1980's
4 (series 151-154) Second class coach. Built byu Shkodër Wagon Works[3] 1980's
B10t (type Bruhat) 140 43 (series 201-243) (in France: 50 87 20-47 423, 491, 496-812) French stock, bought secondhand in 1980's. Originally constructed between 1956 and 1962 in a serie of 318 coaches, reconstructed from 1900-1920 PLM coaches. In France called 'modernisées Sud Est' of 'Bruhat'[3] 1981-1982

See also

References and notes

  1. HSH Official timetable
  2. 1 2 3 Focken, Heiki (2008), Lok Report: Albanien. Auf Schienen durch das Land der Skipetaren,
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Angelfire.com: HSH Passenger Stocklist
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Drehscheibe Online
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