We tried to take the train a few times in Albania. When we first arrived in Tirana we went to the main station but it had been shut down and moved about 20 minutes or so out of the city (‘for a limited time only’.. Who knows what this means). So we went and visited the new ‘station’ at Vore it was so much less/more than we ever could have hoped for but again trains were irregular at best and no one seemed to be able to give us an answer of when we could take it. Breaking through the language barrier and seemingly somewhat complete lack of schedule was proving very difficult for us. We checked another station at Durres but again we seemed to have missed it and no one could really tell us when it was coming back. Eventually we headed north to continue our trip. We ended up in Shkoder we were going to leave the next morning for Montenegro, we just happened to ask our hostel where the train station was in the town. He said it was a 10 minute walk we visited and they said it was leaving at 430 or 5 in the morning so we decided to rise early and take it and see where we ended up. We did not have any destination it was only for the experience of riding it. It moved at about 20kms an hour max and as the sun started to rise over the mountains it hit the fog in the valleys and farmlands and gave us an incredible view of the country we never would have seen otherwise. I think we rode for 2-3 hours until the sun was completely up, there was only a few stops and we were some what of a tourist attraction for the locals. I am assuming that they don’t see many foreign people riding with them. We hopped off at some random station and then got a taxi back, we laughed when we arrived in less than 30 minutes to our hostel after a train ride that took about 3 hours. All in all highly recommendable.
The former Tirana central station.
What the tracks are now used for.
The ‘new’ station at Vore.
The driver enjoying the first sunlight of the day.The country side.
Judging by the state of the tracks 10-20kms an hour was about all we could have handled without a derailment.