What started with a single train between China and Hungary has grown into a high-demand service with three to four trains a week during peak hours for Eurasian rail operator RTSB. The company is interested in launching a China-Europe train via Budapest, but it needs more network bandwidth. It is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to RailFreight.

Hungarian terminal
Picture: Istvan Nagy. Flickr

All traffic from the east is consolidated in Budapest, which has many advantages as a logistics hub, explained Thomas Palechek from RTSB. There is a good infrastructure, good transport links, many industrial companies have settled here, many of them from China. “We are promoting Budapest as a transport hub and gateway to the Central and Eastern European market.”

This is not to say that the city does not know problems. The popularity of the city also has its consequences. The network is severely congested and this congestion cannot be eliminated until the V0 rail line is built for freight only.

Some routes, such as the Kelebia border crossing, are heavily congested due to construction work and various inland and maritime traffic flows connecting Turkish and Eastern European ports to Central Europe. That is why we are waiting for the harmonization of these rail corridors before expanding our activities,” Palecek explained.

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The completion of the V0 railway line, which redirects traffic from east to west via Kecskemét and Szekesfehervar and thus bypasses the busy network around Budapest, will solve part of the problem. But the capital is also experiencing a glut of terminals.

“Hungarian rail transport is very focused on Budapest. 80 to 90 percent of the traffic is processed here.” A new terminal is due to open in Debrecen in a few years, and the recently opened East West Gate terminal in Fenestlitka has enough capacity to handle much more cargo than it currently handles. But under the current conditions, traffic across the eastern border is limited to exports from Ukraine, and the full potential of the Zahon region remains untapped.

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