The Hungarian Parliament on Tuesday passed a law codifying a commitment to the upgrade of the Budapest-Belgrade railway line.
The assembly also backed an agreement between the Hungarian and Chinese governments on implementing and financing the project.
The law was approved with 133 votes in favour, 58 against and 3 abstentions.
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China is financing 85 percent and Hungary 15 percent of the upgrade, worth a little more than 2 billion US dollars.
The railway line will become part of a corridor for bringing Chinese goods to Europe.
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Work has already started on upgrading the Serbian section of the line which is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. The full project is scheduled to be finished by 2025.
At the parliamentary debate, State Secretary Tamás Schanda said the investment would halve the currently eight-hour travel time between Budapest and Belgrade. The new tracks will allow a top speed of 200 km/h, and put Hungary in a position to become part of the fastest route for goods delivered from China to Europe via Piraeus in Greece, he said.
Featured photo by Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI