Thursday, November 28, 2013

Study for Belgrade-Budapest rail line in six months

11/28/2013 1:03:00 PM
BELGRADE - The feasibility study for a modernization of the Belgrade-Budapest rail line that would then allow for speeds ranging from 160-200 km/h could be completed for just six months, it was said on Thursday in a meeting between Serbian Transport Minister Aleksandar Antic and representatives of the China Railway Corporation. Antic said at the Serbian government that there are two possible options. The first, a more realistic one, is to modernize the existing rail line from Belgrade to Budapest, and the other - to construct a new one for high-speed trains. 

 The Serbian minister said that China will finance this project from the fund of USD 10 billion that was earmarked for investments in 16 countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). At this point, Antic could not specify the way of financing, but authorities will certainly take into account Serbia's public debt, as well as that no country in the region had experience with concession contracts concerning the modernization of existing rail lines for passenger and freight transport. 

 According to some estimates, the modernization of the section from Belgrade to the border with Hungary will cost EUR 885 million, and from the Hungarian border to Budapest around EUR 1.5 billion. An agreement on the modernization of the rail line was reached in Bucharest on Monday, the first day of the China-CEE summit, during which officials considered China's plan for investing USD 10 billion in the development of infrastructure in the countries. Photo Tanjug, R. Prelic

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