Rail Cargo Hungary. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Russia and Hungary want joint railway company this Spring

The joint railway venture consisting of Russia, Hungary and Austria will be established this Spring. The foreign minister of Hungary met recently with the CEO of Russian Railways and discussed, among other things, the details of the new company.

On Thursday 17 February, The Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó wrote on Facebook: “Today, we have met with Oleg Belozjorov, CEO of Russian Railways to discuss important details for the realisation of the joint railway company this Spring.”

The main goal of this new company, which will play the role of an operator and logistics forwarder on the New Silk Road, is to attract a lot of cargo to Hungary, said Szijjártó. To be precise, the ambition of the country is to attract 1,000 container trains per year, coming from China via Hungary to West Europe.

The joint venture

The joint venture was officially signed on 14 December 2021 by Russian Railways Holding, CER Cargo Holding (Hungary) and Rail Cargo Group (Austria). The focus of the newly formed team will be on cargo transportation from Chinese provinces to South Europe and Balkan countries, through Russia and Hungary and backwards. The route via Ukraine will be of particular importance, as this route serves that particular part of Europe on the Eurasian corridor.

An important role to play in this traffic is the East West Gate terminal in Fenyeslitke, which is to be opened in the coming days. This modern facility is situated close to the border with Ukraine and is built with exactly that reason: handling cargo on route between Europe and China to increase the role of Hungary on the New Silk Road.

‘Fastest terminal on EU’s eastern border’

Minister Szijjártó referred to the terminal as “the facility on the EU’s eastern border that will be able to handle container trains the fastest”. In a recent interview with TransRussia, the CEO of East West Gate Janos Talosi said that the terminal would open very soon.

“The technical handover process will begin in March, and the ceremonial handover is expected in the second half of March, after which the trial operation will begin immediately. By April 2022, we will move to operational work, with a gradual increase in turnover.”

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Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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