There are persons who see what we ordinary people do not see. That's how I found out today about "rock-rose". It is a plant that grows out of rock or out of nothing. Where it would never have been expected. I was told about it by a friend who found an "rock-rose" in the yard where I work. I walked past it many times, but never noticed it. This beautiful "rock-rose" marked this day for me, because on the same day I came across something similar - the "rock-rose" from Istria. Okay, not really a plant, but here's the story.
The railway in Istria is in a worse, if not worse condition than in the rest of the rail network. Not much attention has been paid to this because it is considered to be so everywhere in Istria. However, there are several important differences in Istria:
- During the time of the Union of Yugoslavian Railways , the lines in Istria belonged to “ŽG Ljubljana”, not “ŽTP Zagreb”. The transition to the rail system in Croatia has led to major organizational changes that have adversely affected technological and business processes.
- After the independence of the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Croatia, this part of the railway line was not directly connected with the rest of the railway in the territory of the Republic of Croatia, which further hampered the functioning of railway traffic in Istria.
- As the old saying goes, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease", Istria was away from the center HŽ and didn’t “get the grease”.
These are the reasons why, at several roundtables, back in 2003 and 2004, I proposed the establishment of a local infrastructure manager for the "Istrian Railway" (there was no division of the single railway system yet). Of course, everyone laughed at it, and the rail traffic was so weak in Istria that today I had forgotten that there was a railroad there. And then, in the same day, enthusiasm number two. “Rock-rose” number two.
I came across a newspaper article "A PRESS CONFERENCE HELD AT THE RAILWAY STATION: Cyclists From Kanfanar to Rovinj Can use the Railroad Instead of Roads", by Nina ORLOVIĆ RADIĆ, who presented a project by the Istrian Development Agency called ICARUS, which has been underway since the beginning of the year and financed under the Italy-Croatia Cross-Border Cooperation Program. The overall objective of the project is to improve the quality, safety and environmental sustainability of transport services. The project plans to convert the old Rovinj-Kanfanar railway into a 21-kilometer bike path.
Thus, although road traffic is prevalent in Istria and other parts of the Republic of Croatia, even areas of railway infrastructure are being transformed into roads, the Istrian Development Agency, as the "rock-rose", wants to revive the railway in Istria. For every bit of praise.
Author: Dražen Kaužljar
Photo: Barbara Ban / helloistria.com