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V4 agree to speed up rail network developments

Transport officials of the Visegrad Group countries have agreed to speed up preparations for the construction of a high-speed rail network across their countries and to step up efforts to transport grain from Ukraine, the Ministry of Technology and Industry (TIM) said on Friday.

Europe’s current railway capacities are not enough to transport all the Ukrainian grain which until now had been delivered via the Black Sea to the west on schedule, state secretary David Vitezy said. The V4 officials agreed at their meeting in Budapest that their countries will do their utmost to aid Ukraine as well as Africa and Asia, which rely on Ukraine’s exports, he said.

The V4 countries are exploring new areas for cooperation with a view to expanding their capacities for cross-border transport within the European Union as well as for mapping out transport opportunities via the River Danube, Vitezy said.

The TIM will assign top priority to the improvement of the international integration of Hungary’s rail network and the development of relations with areas beyond the border, the statement said.

All of the V4 states are working on the development of the high-speed railway line linking Budapest and Warsaw via the Czech and Slovak capitals, Vitezy said. Hungary can obtain the environmental permit for the Budapest-Gyor section of the line within the next year, he said. Slovakia is currently planning the route of its section of the line while the Czech Republic and Poland are in the detailed planning stage, the state secretary added.

According to the statement, the project will shorten travel times between Budapest and its neighbouring capitals to less than two hours. The journey from Budapest to Prague would take three-and-a-half hours and the full Budapest-Warsaw trip will be five-and-a-half hours, with the trains on the line reaching speeds of up to 320kph.

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