The “Trans-Serbian” Express: State-Of-The-Art Railway Line To Connect Budapest With Belgrade By 2018
Robert Velkey 2016.04.13.
The railway line between Budapest, Hungary and Belgrade, Serbia going to be renovated to state-of-the art standards.
Lawmakers have approved the upgrade of the Hungarian section of the Budapest-Belgrade rail line, conencting the Hungarian capital with Serbia’s chief city. When work on the line is complete, trains – including 740 metrelong freight trains – at a speed of up to 160 km/h. After the renovation, passenger trains will take the approximately 400km long distance between the two cities in 2.5-3 hours.
The discussions about the renovation started last year, between the stakeholder countries, Hungary, Serbia and China. What is Chine doing here? The upgrade is expected to cost 472 billion forints (EUR 1.5bn), 85% of which will be financed by a 20-year loan from China. China is motivated by the prospect of transporting Chinese goods from the Greek docks of Piraeus to western Europe. The Hungarian-Chinese inter-governmental agreement on the project was signed last November.
The investment was approved with 123 votes in favour, 6 against and 45 abstentions. The upgrade is expected to be completed sometime in 2018.