Officials inaugurate Belgrade-Novi Sad line

Belgrade – Novi Sad railway The President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, the Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán have inaugurated the Belgrade – Novi Sad railway line which is part of the Belgrade – Budapest corridor.

“Serbia is launching one of the most modern railway sections in Europe, equipped with the best systems and components. Our high-speed railways are built by our Russian and Chinese friends. The supervision was done by the Germans, and the trains were delivered by the Swiss, while a stable and strong Serbia,” Aleksandar Vučić said at the ceremony held at the Novi Sad station which was for the first time completely reconstructed since its construction in 1964.

The officials made a 30-minute inauguration trip on the line boarding a double decker four-car electric train called Soko with 270 passengers representing other officials of the two governments of the RZD International, China Communications Construction Company and other domestic companies.

“The cooperation between the two countries has never been closer, and the high – speed railway from Belgrade to Novi Sad, and in a few years to Budapest, is proof of joint efforts in connecting the two countries. Despite all the challenges, Serbian-Hungarian friendship will be preserved in which joint plans will be realised. In the past 70 years the countries have been connected on the east – west direction, and in the meantime we have forgotten how important it is to connect the territories on the north – south direction,” Viktor Orbán said at the inauguration.

The modernisation and construction of the 74.9-km line between Belgrade to Novi Sad was done by Chinese and Russian companies which involved domestic subcontractors. EUR 935 million was the total value of the project that started in 2017 and included the modenisation and construction of the 36.2 km Stara Pazova – Novi Sad section and the 4.2 km Čortanovci tunnel and viaduct which was built by RZD International. The construction of the 34.5 km section between Belgrade Centre Station and Stara Pazova was ensured by a consortium of China Railway International Company and China Communications Construction Company under a USD 350.1 million contract. Recently, a measuring train from DB Systemtechnik has completed the 200 km/h tests along the line.

The modernisation and construction work on the Belgrade – Novi Sad railway line will be also implemented to Nis and Subotica to allow increased traffic speed, improved rail infrastructure and systems as well as rapid rail transport services.

On the third section, from Novi Sad to Kelebija, the works started in November 2021, and it will be 108.1 km long. The works are being performed by the same Chinese companies that worked on the Belgrade-Stara Pazova section under a USD 1.16 billion contract. The works are expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

The new Belgrade – Budapest railway corridor is expected to be completed in 2025 and it will be a connection between southern and central Europe, will provide passengers fast and comfortable travel trip with a duration of 2 hours and 40 minutes. EUR 2.2 billion is the value of the entire project covering the construction of a high – speed railway through Serbia from Belgrade to Subotica (Kelebija, a border crossing to Hungary). The financing is provided by a loan from the Russian Federation and the Chinese Exim Bank, with the participation of the Serbian budget.

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