China built Serbia to Hungary Railway


Chinese-backed Rail Line Brings Benefits to Serbia, Hungary

The Chinese-built Hungary-Serbia railway, a fruitful result of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has significantly enhanced Serbian people and foreign tourists’ travel convenience and introduced innovative technologies to both Serbia and Hungary.

Once fully completed, the line – a hallmark project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Europe – is set to cut rail travel times between the European capitals of Belgrade and Budapest by more than half
with the inter-capital commute set to drop from eight hours to three and a half hours. A Serbian study estimates the number of passengers on the line will triple from 3 million to 9 million per year.

Experts point to the potential economic gains set to roll in for Serbia and Hungary. It will also allow for Chinese goods to reach the European market much faster.

The current rail line, a key access route to the Balkans and Greece, had not been redeveloped for 40 years. But in 2013, Hungary and Serbia signed an agreement for its redevelopment with the backing of Chinese investment.

Hungary secured a loan of $2 billion from China, while Serbia borrowed $1.8 billion from Chinese banks, also receiving funds from the European Union and Russia.

In Serbia, the railway has already been completed between Belgrade and the Hungarian border. Budapest says it plans to complete its side of the project by 2025.