The Second Track project takes into account the aspects of protecting natural and cultural values to the greatest extent possible, so the chosen route is optimal from the point of view of efforts to reduce negative impacts on the environment. The course of the second track of the Divača-Koper railway line is planned in such a way as to avoid as much as possible the water protection area of the Rižana water source, which represents the main source of drinking water for the entire Slovenian littoral (drinking water for the needs of households, tourism, economy and agriculture).
While the existing track crosses I. and II twice. vodovarstveno območje omenjenega vodnega vira (po danes veljavni zakonodaji na območju I. vodovarstvenega območja gradnja ni dovoljena), v velikem delu pa poteka po III. water protection area, the planned second track only in a small part runs along the edge of III. water protection area.
In the part where the route of the second track crosses zone III. in the water protection area of the Rižana water source, as well as in the rest of its course through the karst area, only this one is placed in a watertight tunnel tube (tunnels T1 and T2, which are connected by bridging facilities and galleries in the form of watertight tubes for crossing the sensitive protected area of the Glinščica valley into a single long tunnel tube).
The tunnel pipes of tunnels T1 and T2 are designed in such a way that the area passing through the area of permanent or occasional occurrence of groundwater is carried out in an undrained version. This means that the tunnel pipe does not constitute a drainage system for draining the surrounding groundwater, and it can withstand all the additional pressures of the groundwater in its back without any problems. In addition, during the construction of the aforementioned tunnel pipes, care must be taken to implement appropriate measures for the capture of groundwater on its upstream side and its return to the underground on its downstream side in such a way as to prevent possible stagnation of groundwater due to the constructed tunnel pipes, or to ensure the preservation of existing permanent and occasional flows of karst groundwater.
In all tunnels on the planned second track of the Divača-Koper railway line, separate watertight sewers are planned for the capture and drainage of waste water generated during regular use of the railway line or generated in the event of an accident with the spill of dangerous substances, or when extinguishing a fire in the tunnel. All waste water is channeled through oil catchers into suitably sized watertight retention basins, which allow it to be retained and taken away for cleaning and further treatment (in case of emergency).
Improving the fire safety of the area
With the existing project, fire safety is significantly increased, since the majority of the second track is located in tunnels, various bridging facilities and deep trenches and high embankments. In addition, the second track will not require such intense braking that can cause sparking. The braking area will be in front of the Koper station, that is, in the last tunnel, and in the area between Dekani and Koper, which is not overgrown with forests.
In addition to access to the tunnels, the newly constructed access roads also provide easy access to the area for maintenance and forest management purposes. Due to the steep terrain, interspersed with deep ravines, access to the forests is now very difficult, which makes it very difficult for the owners to harvest wood. The newly built access roads will also allow easy and quick access for firefighters in the event of a wildfire, while today access for effective firefighting in the area in question is practically impossible.
Reduction of freight traffic on Slovenian highways
The chosen route of the second Divača-Koper railway track brings many environmental benefits. Due to the underground route, the new line will relieve the residents and the environment next to the existing line, and with the final two-track line, this space will be completely relieved. There will also be environmental benefits from shifting cargo from roads to railways, which is more environmentally friendly transport. At the same time, it is an interesting fact that one train transports 76 containers of different sizes, 20 or 40 fit, while one truck transports one 40 fit or two 20 fit containers. Or, for example, when transporting cars, when one train can transport 280 cars and a truck only 8.
Research shows that if we do not transfer the greater part of the growing freight traffic to the railways, in the next 10 to 15 years we will create huge overloads on the highways and, as a result, huge congestion.
How much forest will be cut down due to the construction of the second track?
The total length of the planned second track of the Divača-Koper railway line is 27.1 km, and only 3.3 km or 12 percent of the second track runs through areas covered with more or less quality forests.
This is mainly the area between Divača and the Lokev settlement, which is half covered with forests, while the other half of the area is covered with meadows, hayfields and pastures, as well as the slopes of the Tinjan and Vinjan hills (the southern slope above the Osapska valley), which is mainly covered with forests .
Most of the access roads to the portals of tunnels T3 to T8 are located in the wooded area of the slope of the Tinjan hill, which are planned in such a way that, in addition to access to the tunnels, they also provide easy access to the forests in the area in question for the needs of maintenance and forest management. Due to the steep terrain, interspersed with deep ravines, access to the forests is now very difficult, which makes it very difficult for the owners to access and harvest wood.
Newly built access roads will allow easy and quick access for firefighters in the event of a fire, while today it is practically impossible for effective extinguishing.
What is the quality of the forest in the areas where the route of the second track will run?
From the valuations carried out as part of the purchase of the land needed for the construction of the second track of the Divača – Koper railway line, it can be seen that the forests in the area of the construction of the second track are dominated by low-growing trees and bushes, typical of karst and coastal areas. From an economic point of view, these forests do not represent a major value. Only a small proportion of the wood mass of such forests is structural or building wood, and wood suitable only for firewood prevails.
At the same time, it should be emphasized that relatively young forests grow in the area of the Karst, as ″hundred-year-old forests″ were completely cut down in the past.