The launch ceremony was attended by Serbian president, Mr Aleksandar Vučić, Serbian prime minister, Ms Ana Brnabić, and Hungarian prime minister, Mr Viktor Orban.
China Civil Engineering and China Railway 11th Bureau were awarded a Yuan 2.4bn ($US 370.4m) contract to conduct civil engineering and track upgrades for the 350km railway between Hungary and Serbia. Testing on the Belgrade - Novi Sad section began in January.
The line will carry three types of passenger service, which will offer varying travel times depending on the number of stops served: Intercity, Regio-Express and Regio. The Intercity service, dubbed Soko or Falcon, will offer a 36-minute journey time between Belgrade and Novi Sad, with one stop at New Belgrade. Regio Express will take 49 minutes, stopping at New Belgrade, Batajnica, Nova Pazova, Stara Pazova, Indjija, Beška and Sremski Karlovci. Regio services will take up to 57 minutes, and will stop at New Belgrade, Tosin Bunar, Zemun, Zemun Polje, Batajnica, Nova Pazova, Stara Pazova, Indjija, Beška, Sremski Karlovci and Petrovaradin.
National operator Srbija Voz has introduced a new online ticketing system to coincide with the reopening of the line. Tickets will initially be offered at a reduced rate until April 30, with a one-way ticket on the inter-city and regional services at Dinar 300 ($US 2.81). Fares will then increase to Dinar 1000 one-way or Dinar 1600 return.
Reconstruction of the 108.1km section from Novi Sad to the Serbia-Hungary border north of Subotica is due to be completed in 2024. Upgrading the full line from Belgrade to Budapest is expected to cost €2bn, and will reduce travel times between the cities to 2h 40min.