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Hungary starts reconstruction of Budapest-Belgrade railway line

Author Radomir Ralev
Hungary starts reconstruction of Budapest-Belgrade railway line Source: MAV

BELGRADE (Serbia), October 19 (SeeNews) - Hungary started an upgrade of its section of the railway line linking Budapest to Serbia's capital Belgrade on October 15, Hungarian railway operator MAV said.

The project, envisaging the construction of a dual-track line, will be completed by 2025 and will lift the maximum permitted speed to 160 km/h, MAV said in a statement last week.

The line will allow an axle load of 22.9 tonnes and stations will be suited to handle 740 m-long trains, MAV said.

"With the renovation, we will have a better railway track between Budapest and Belgrade than between Budapest and Vienna, as the permitted speed will be 160 km/h on a distance of more than 140 km. For trains between Budapest and Belgrade, journey times may be reduced from the current 8 hours to 3.5 hours," MAV president and CEO Robert Homolya said at the groundbreaking ceremony of the project.

A consortium of Hungarian and Chinese firms signed in June 2019 a $2.1 billion (1.8 million euro) contract to upgrade the Hungarian section of the Budapest-Belgrade rail line. The contract was signed with CRE Consortium, 50% of which is owned by RM International, a unit of Hungary’s Opus Global. The remaining 50% of the consortium is held by China Tiejiuju Engineering & Construction and China Railway Electrification Engineering Group.

In November 2017, Serbia started modernising the section of the railway line on its territory. The overhaul represents the first cross-border project carried out by Serbia, Hungary and China in the framework of the China-Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) cooperation initiative. The overhaul of the railway line in Serbia is expected to be completed by 2022.

($ = 0.8579 euro)