January 23, 2013

Budapest rail bypass study complete

Written by  Ferenc Joo
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Budapest rail bypass study complete Ferenc Joo

THE Association of Hungarian Logistics Service Centres (MLSZKSZ) has completed a feasibility study for the so-called V0 railway, which would allow international freight traffic to bypass congested lines in the Budapest area.

Currently the only double-track bridge across the Danube is located between Kelenföld (pictured) and Ferencváros, the other bridge being a single-track structure on a suburban line. The double-track bridge carries significant volumes of domestic and transit freight and is also used by international and long-distance passenger services.

The main purpose of the V0 would be to divert traffic on Hungary's busiest transit route from Austria towards destinations in the east and the Balkans away from Budapest. The feasibility study prefers a route for the V0 railway that would deviate from the Budapest – Vienna main line at Bicske and cross the Danube near Ercsi, joining the Budapest – Szolnok main line just short of Cegléd.

This would be roughly the same length as the current route through Budapest and at Forints 300bn ($US 1.39bn) would be the least costly develop of all the alternatives examined, with the exception of developing the current route via Budapest which would cost 20% less.

If the funds are made available, construction could begin as early as 2017 and the line would take three years to build. However, a decision on the V0 will only be made in the second half of 2013 when the National Transport Strategy and the National Railway Development Concept are finalised and evaluation of traffic flow data and traffic models is complete.

Several variants of the V0 have been studied in the past, but with the collapse of the Hungarian economy following the end of communist rule in 1991, transit traffic levels have only recently recovered to the levels to justify such a major investment.

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