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The upgrade of the Hungarian section of the Budapest-Belgrade rail-line got under way on Monday after the contract for the project’s implementation entered into effect, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology said in a statement.

Innovation and Technology Minister László Palkovics told the companies in charge of the project that preparations for the project were going according to plan and that the upgrade was expected to be completed by 2025.

Heated Parliamentary Debate on Budapest-Belgrade Railway Mega-project

The upgraded rail line will put Hungary in a position to become part of the fastest route for goods transported between Greece and western Europe, the minister was quoted as saying, adding that if it used its favourable characteristics to its advantage, Hungary was set to become a regional logistics hub. Additionally, the rail link will reduce travel time between Budapest and Belgrade from 8 hours to less than half that duration, Palkovics said.

Monday’s meeting was attended by representatives of Hungary’s national rail operator MÁV, RM International, China Tiejiuju Engineering and Construction, the Hungarian unit of the China Railway Electrification Engineering Group, international real estate developer FOBER, Hungary’s Transport Sciences Institute (KTI), the Chinese-Hungarian joint venture set up to coordinate the project and Duan Jielong, China’s ambassador to Hungary.

Featured photo illustration by László Beliczay/MTI