Heading for China: resumption of freight traffic on the renovated Szeged-Röszke railway line

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After a 30-year hiatus, freight transport along the Szeged-Röszke railway line has resumed, with the first freight train crossing Serbia on Monday evening before heading to the port of Piraeus and on to China, Dávid Vitézy , the Ministry of Technology and The Secretary of State for Industry in charge of transport, said during a press conference on the site.

The project has received 40 billion forints (100 million euros) in government aid.

The completion of the renovation paved the way for the complete reconstruction of the Hungarian section of the Budapest-Belgrade railway line which he said met the growing demand for a competitive and environmentally friendly mode of transport. environment linking Europe to China and, more broadly, to Asia via Turkey via the Balkan routes.

The development of the Budapest-Belgrade railway line will provide a solution both to land transport needs, via Turkey, and to combined river and rail transport needs. Thus, the most important rail transport routes from Asia will pass through Hungary, opening up huge potential for economic development, he said.

The renewed Röszke line, together with investment from the Serbian side, will reconnect Szeged and Subotica on a modern railway line. Development will continue on the Hungarian side, the renovation of the section – including the overhead line – should be completed by next autumn, and passenger transport can then begin, said Dávid Vitézy.

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Zoltán Pafféri, CEO of MÁV Zrt., recalled that the 20 Rail Cargo Hungaria Zrt. are the first trains to cross the Szeged-Röszke line in seven years. The line, built in 1863, ceased to operate regular services in 2015.

The European Union has set itself the target of increasing the share of rail and river transport in short and medium distance freight and passenger transport by 50% by 2050, thereby reducing emissions by 60%.

The demand for freight transport between Budapest and Belgrade has already increased compared to previous years, and this demand can really grow once the project is completed,” said the CEO.

Zoltán Pafféri said it was symbolic that the first train on the revamped Röszke line is heading to China, proving European businesses have a comeback.

MÁV Zrt. will be able to guarantee the crossing of the border for up to ten trains a day between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. from August 1, he said.

At the same time, the CEO asked the drivers of the Szeged-Röszke line not to get out of the routine and to approach level crossings with particular caution. As part of the project, 13 level crossings on the line will be upgraded, with lighting or lighting and semi-blocking, and crossing tracks will also be upgraded.

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