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HSH Albanian Railways

Hekurudha e Shqiperise

This site is maintained by and for railway enthusiasts with an interest in Albanian Railways. It is not a commercial or official site of HSH Albanian Railways.

Current Timetables and Fares are posted on the Ministry of Transport website

HSH published the timetable on it's own website (currently not available).
HSH Official Website

Reports from travellers to Albania are welcomed in order to keep this site up to date - see below for contact details.

The original version of this site was written in the mid/late 1990s. Since 2004 some amendments have been made as fresh information becomes available, but this has been limited and therefore some sections may not be totally up to date.

The first railways in Albania were mineral and military narrow gauge lines built between 1917 and in the 1930’s, some of these systems were extensive, but none remain intact today. The standard gauge system was opened in stages from 1947 to the 1980’s, mostly along the coastal plain. The route from Durrës to Podgradec is the only line to be built any distance into the mountainous interior. The only link with any other railways opened in 1984 as a freight only line between Shkodër and the border with Montenegro at Han-i-Hotit. This was out of use from 1991 to 1996 (closed by civil unrest and then UN sanctions on the former Yugoslavia) and from 1997 to 2003 (damaged from looting).

Until in the 1990’s locomotives and rolling stock were obtained either as donations from, or barter trade with, Albania’s political allies. The Soviet Union donated some of the first steam locomotives, carriages were traded from China in the late 1960’s and diesel locomotives were obtained from Czechoslovakia in exchange for Albanian chrome ore. More recently Albania has acquired second-hand rolling stock from France, Germany, Austria and Italy. Some wagons and a few carriages were built locally in Shkodër.

The railways suffered two periods of considerable damage due to civil unrest in 1991 and 1997. The Rreshën branch remains closed as the remaining track was used to provide rails to repair the cross-border line north of Shkodër.

A Directorate within the Transport Ministry runs the railways. Until the mid 1980’s when Albania joined the UIC, the railway operator had no operating name as such. Since then the Directorate has used “HSH, Hekurudha e Shqiperise” as an operating name. Only the former DB locomotives, passenger carriages and some wagons carry HSH markings. Rolling stock is numbered in a national series. A few wagons are registered for international traffic and carry full UIC numbers.

Almost all withdrawn locomotives and carriages from the 1940’s onwards were dumped in a derelict condition throughout the system. For the first time in HSH history, scrapping of some withdrawn stock has commenced. In the mid 1990s over half of the diesel locomotive fleet was placed into store, leaving only the T669.1 class in service. A number of wagons from other railways were trapped in Albania during the periods that the cross-border line was closed to traffic and they are to be found in a derelict condition at several locations.

There were a number of industrial lines at works and mines, many of these are now derelict or dismantled and little is known about the full extent of these systems.


Pre-1930 760mm-gauge Network and other systems
SIMS - Societa Italiana delle Miniere di Selenizza (Updated 07 March 1998)
Construction of HSH - Hekurudhe e Shqiperise (Updated 23 April 2004)

Motive Power and Multiple Units

Locomotive Summary (Updated 06 November 2008)
HSH Diesel Locomotives (T669: Updated 05 September 2012)
HSH Steam Locomotives (Updated 09 October 2011)
HSH Diesel Multiple Units (future?)

Rolling Stock

HSH Passenger Carriages (Updated 09 September 2012)
HSH Passenger Stocklist (Updated 09 September 2012)
HSH Freight Wagons

HSH Liveries

Infrastructure and Services

HSH Network (Updated 09 September 2012)
HSH Passenger Timetable (Updated 05 September 2012)

HSH Fares and Tickets (Updated 30 June 2012)

Projects & Plans

HSH Projects and Plans (Updated 31 March 2004)


HSH Pictures (New pictures added 10 September 2007)


HSH News items to 2000

Latest news items are now posted on the Balkrail-l list (Yahoo Groups - formerly egroups)

Click here to view news items (as guest - no need to subscribe)

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Current Timetables and Fares are posted on the Ministry of Transport website

HSH published the timetable on it's own website (currently not available).
HSH Official Website

The European Railway Server
T669 site by Andreas Griessing
Enthusiast's Guide to Travelling the Railways of Europe (EGTRE). - for information and news on Albania and the Albanians

Albanian Ministry of Transport

Information Compiled by Geoff Sarbutt and Frank Valoczy.
Our thanks for contributions and assistance from many contributors.

Contributions are always welcomed.

This site was originally built as co-operative venture between Frank Valoczy and Geoff Sarbutt.

Mail address is nomail (at) yahoo(dot) co (dot) uk
To type the true address, remove spaces, replace nomail by gobytrainmail, replace (at) with the @ symbol and replace (dot) with the usual full-stop/period symbol (this is an anti-spam measure).
Please include the word Albania in the message subject line as this will help in seeing messages amongst the large amounts of spam I recieve