Palkovics: Government working to make Hungary freight transport hub
This requires Hungary to handle as big a share of the freight turnover between Europe and Asia as possible, Palkovics told a Railroad Day event organised by Rail Cargo Hungaria.
The government devotes special attention to railway development, the minister said, adding that ongoing projects like the development of the Budapest-Belgrade rail line would contribute to making the 21st century “the century of rail transport” in Hungary.
Preparations for the construction of the new V0 freight rail line bypassing Budapest are also ongoing, he said, adding that the cabinet will discuss plans for the new line’s route on July 25.
Palkovics noted that he and his Turkish, Serbian and Bulgarian counterparts set up a transport coordination council this week, which he said would help make Hungary a key player in the region.
Hungary has also embarked on a container terminal development scheme that will see the construction of new intermodal container terminals in various parts of the country, Palkovics said. He also underlined the importance of the renewal of Hungary’s cargo train stock using domestic capacities.
Technology and industry ministry state secretary David Vitezy said the government’s goals would double the performance of the rail transport sector. The rail strategy being devised by the ministry will help create the capacities that will ensure that these ambitions for growth are realised, he said.
The ministry is working to address the 13 percent drop seen in the share of freight transported by rail in the first quarter of this year, Vitezy said.
The ministry is confident that rail cargo transport is an environmentally friendlier and more sustainable mode of shipment and that the railway will play an increasingly bigger role in intercontinental cargo flows, he said.