Various narrow gauge military and industrial railways appeared in Albania from the early years of the 20th century, but none of these remains operational. The present day standard gauge system dates mainly from the period immediately following the Second World War. From the late 20th century the network suffered extensive degradation during periods of internal unrest and continued poor state of the economy. Repairs and extensions have been undertaken, but services remain prone to interruption owing to lack of resources.
Freight and passenger services are operated by the State railway company. The Albanian network is connected with the rest of Europe by a freight-only link with neighbouring Montenegro.
In 2018, a study was launched for a new 130km rail link between Pogradec and Florina in Greece, connecting the rail networks of the two countries.
In 2021, a contract was let for the rehabilitation of the 37km main line between Durrës and Tiranë, together with a new 5.7km branch serving Tiranë International Airport. The main line has been closed to traffic since 2016.
A long planned tram system for the capital Tiranë remains under consideration for possible future implementation.
Photo image © Takács Bence