Hungary to spend HUF 300 bn on rail projects this year

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Railway projects worth HUF 1,300 billion have been carried out since 2010 with EU co-financing, and this year will see record spending of nearly HUF 300 bn on rail projects, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology said on Friday in its annual railway summary. 2020 will also mark the dawn of a new era in Hungary as the first double-decker trains will enter service, the ministry added.
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Between 2016 and 2024, Hungary is spending some HUF 5,000 bn on road railway projects that are already completed, under construction or currently being prepared. Top priorities in transportation include a customer-based service approach and also making environmentally friendly railway the backbone of intercity transportation, the ministry said, adding that

rail connections will primarily be improved between Budapest and county seats, as well as in the areas surrounding the capital and other major cities.

The top rail projects to be completed this year will be in Budapest's suburbs as the renovation of the Rákos-Hatvan and the Kelenföld-Százhalombatta-Pusztaszabolcs sections comes to an end, the ministry said. Outside Budapest, work will be completed on the Püspökladány-Debrecen and Szombathely-Kőszeg lines, and a new intermodal hub in Kaposvár will also open this year for faster and more convenient connections.

This summer, renovation and expansion works will begin on one of the key pieces of Hungary's rail system, Budapest's south rail interlink bridge over the Danube.

As for road projects, the ministry released a separate summary earlier this week in connection with the Modern Cities Programme.

The first double-decker motor trains will enter service this year on the Budapest-Cegléd and Budapest-Vác lines, two of the busiest suburban routes. The government granted HUF 106 bn late last year for the purchase of another 21 motor trains, HUF 56 bn for this year and HUF 50 bn for 2021, which will increase the number of electric suburban rail cars operated by Máv Start to 40. The new Desiro, Flirt and Kiss trains are expected to service 60 million passengers a year in the suburbs of Budapest by 2022, the ministry said.

Another recent government decision in December cut the EU funding for regional railway development from HUF 121 bn to HUF 117.7 bn, while authorising increased spending from the central budget on the project.

Cover photo: MTI/Zoltán Máthé

This article is part of the work programme titled "The impacts of EU cohesion policy in Hungary - Present and Future" which is carried out by Net Média Zrt., the publisher of Portfolio.hu, between 1st April 2019 and 31st March 2020 with European Union financing. The views in this article solely reflect the opinions of the author. The European Commission as the funding entity does not take any responsibility for the use of information presented in this article.

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