Monday, June 25, 2012

No more slow trains to Pogradec

Both Seat 61 and Europe by Rail report that it is no longer possible to travel by train from Tirana/Durres through central Albania to Pogradec on the shores of Lake Ohrid. This probably won't disrupt the travel plans of many travellers, few of whom were ever prepared to submit themselves to the rigours of the famously slow 6-to-7 hour trip. But the distinctive character of the journey did appeal to some visitors, and I had hoped to travel the route some day myself. I have not seen any indication of what prompted the closure or whether there is any hope of a resumption of services in future.

There is still one service daily on this line, from Tirana via Durres and Elbasan as far as Librazhd, a town I have to confess I had never previously heard of. It takes around five hours from Tirana to Librazhd, four hours of which are accounted for by the meandering route between Tirana and the the substantial town of Elbasan, a trip which can of course be done much more quickly by bus.

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