Core section of Hungary-Serbia railway open for operations
The renovation of the railway section connecting Belgrade with Novi Sad in Serbia officially ended, with the first train already running on 19 March. The section is part of the long-awaited railway line connecting Serbia and Hungary, funded by China as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Beno railway line, as the section is called, is about 80 kilometres long and is the core part of the Hungary-Serbia railway reconstruction project. After the completion of the railway reconstruction, the maximum running speed of the train can be increased from 40-50 kilometres per hour to 200 kilometres, and it is open to freight trains.
At the line’s opening ceremony, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said that high-speed railways are the future of Serbia, and the country will have the most modern railway network. In September last year, the government planned to invest more than 6 billion euros (about 45.332 billion yuan) in railway projects. More than 2 million euros were used for the Beno section.
The Hungary-Serbia railway is a flagship cooperation project between China and central and eastern European countries. The objective is to provide sufficient railway connections between Budapest and Belgrade since this route is also an integral part of Corridor X, the main railway artery passing through the Balkans and connecting major Greek ports with central Europe.
The line is 350 kilometres long in total and has a design speed of 200 kilometres per hour. The purpose is to build a double electrified high-speed rail line for freight and passenger trains. The project is set to be completed in 2025.
The next step after the opening of the Beno section is to complete the upgrade of the Belgrade-Subotica line, located on the Serbia-Hungarian border. At the same time, Hungary is also undertaking construction works on the Szeged (Hungary) and Subotica section. Works are proceeding fast, and the aim is to open the line at the end of this year.
This story was originally published on our sister publication RailFreight.cn.