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Budapest-Belgrade High-Speed Railway Resumes, Ahead of Schedule

Construction on the Budapest-Belgrade high-speed railway has resumed, pushing the ambitious, China-funded project ahead of schedule

Construction on the Budapest-Belgrade high-speed railway, funded by China’s Belt and Road Initiative, has resumed on the Hungarian side, aiming for early completion by 2025. Following the recent completion of the line between Novi Sad and Subotica in Serbia, Hungary is accelerating its efforts to finish this landmark project, despite a brief halt in September 2023.

The railway is designed to allow trains to travel safely at speeds of up to 160 km/h, meeting EU safety standards under the European Train Control System. Once complete, this 350-kilometre corridor will slash travel time between Budapest and Belgrade to approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Political Director for the Hungarian Prime Minister, Balazs Orban, underscored the railway’s significance, describing it as a revival of ancient East-West trading routes. “It’s the first high-speed train in the region,” Orban said, noting the project’s vital impact on local trade and logistics.

Valued at $2.8 billion and funded mostly by a Chinese loan, the project was initially slated for completion in 2026 but is now expected to finish a year earlier. Hungary is already exploring further infrastructural collaborations with China to develop additional railways, highways, and logistics hubs. 

The Budapest-Belgrade railway is expected to become a critical conduit for Chinese cargo in Europe, integrating with the Port of Piraeus to enhance global trade routes while rejuvenating ancient commercial ties.

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