Earlier this year we reported that a high speed railway service is being planned to link Budapest and Warsaw. New updates on the project were released this week. Based on information from turizmus.com, last week ministers from the Visegrád Group nations – Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland – have signed an agreement to collaborate for the venture. According to the agreement, in the next two years engineers will start planning the two-track railway line which will accommodate speeds of up to 350km/h. The line is going to be around 700-900km long, and will connect the cities of Budapest, Bratislava, Brno and Warsaw. Based on current plans, the train will only stop in four cities: Budapest, Bratislava, Brno and Warsaw. All the representatives present at the summit agreed that they fully back the project. In addition, a working group will come together in November to coordinate and discuss the political interests of all the parties involved.
The line will come with numerous tunnels and bridges across the Danube and Odera rivers. The train will operate with state-of-the-art carriages that will have a greater passenger capacity than the ones we are used to seeing in Hungary. The line will also use the latest technology to make travel as efficient and comfortable as possible. The line is predicted to serve 500,000 passengers a year, and aims to compete with airlines in the region. Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó believes that this will be an important venture to connect Central European nations as there is very limited infrastructure running North-South in the region. However, it will be interesting to see whether the train will be able to compete with budget airlines such as Ryanair and Wizzair. Flight prices are at unprecedented low and it will be interesting to see how train and railway ticket prices will compare when the project is completed. In August we also reported that RegioJet are planning to run long-distance trains on the Prague-Vienna-Budapest route.
Sources : turizmus.com & dailynewshungary.com