Budapest-Belgrade line to be ready by 2025, says Hungarian Minister
The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó claimed that the Budapest-Belgrade (BuBe) railway line, currently under construction, should be ready by 2025. The line will be an important piece for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as it can offer solid connections to central and northern Europe as well as southern European ports.
The relevance of this project for the BRI is that Szijjártó’s statement was made during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. He underlined the importance of this line when it comes to, for example, for Greek port of Piraeus, fully managed by Chinese logistics giant COSCO. A little over a year ago, China became the number one investor in Serbia due to its BRI ambitions. More recently, Hungary also defined its relationship with Beijing as a “clear success”.
The BuBe project
In August 2022, the reconstruction and upgrade of the Budapest-Belgrade line recently continued with the reopening of the line connecting Szeged and Röszke, in the South of Hungary. This line is the central section of the BuBe railway, near the Hungary-Serbia border. Before that, in March, the section connecting Belgrade to Novi Sad was reopened too. The total cost for the full upgrade was set at four billion euros and included the doubling of the whole railway and the modernisation of the signalling facilities. The larger plan for the BuBe project is to then create a rail connection from Budapest all the way to Athens via Skopje, in Northern Macedonia. The project is being carried out by a joint venture formed by the Hungarian State Railways and with China Railway International Corporation and China Railway International Group.