China’s expertise and finances launch Serbia’s first high-speed railway
The reconstruction of a railway line between Budapest and Belgrade was part of a “flagship project” strengthening China’s presence in the Balkans./Darko Vojinovic/AP
As the whole world watches closely the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, Serbia is preparing for the inauguration of the first section of the new high-speed railway. The 75 kilometer long section connects the two largest cities in Serbia, Belgrade and Novi Sad. It is part of a much larger ongoing project to connect Belgrade with Budapest, the Hungarian capital.
Before the official opening of the railway, heavy machinery puts the finishing touches on one of the stations on the outskirts of Belgrade. Tests were carried out to ensure that the railway had EU certification, and of course train drivers familiarized themselves with the new route.
The line includes a section of 184 kilometers in Serbia and 166 kilometers in Hungary and is designed to reduce travel times between Belgrade and Budapest from eight hours to less than three hours. Currently, some line speeds on the route are as low as 60 kilometers per hour (km/h). When fully operational, the high-speed trains will be able to run at up to 200 km/h under the $370.4 million contract awarded to China Civil Engineering and China Railway.