SERBIAN minister of construction, transport and infrastructure, Mr Goran Vesić, has announced two tenders for the reconstruction and modernisation of two regional lines in the northern province of Vojvodina.

The first project covers the Pančevo Glavna - Subotica line, divided into the 126.18km Pančevo Glavna - Zrenjanin - Banatsko Miloševo section and the 73.58km Banatsko Miloševo - Senta - Subotica section. The single-track non-electrified line, which opened between 1883 and 1896, and has a maximum speed of 80km/h, will be upgraded and electrified to allow operation at up to 120km/h.

The Sombor - Vrbas line will also be reconstructed and electrified throughout. Operational since 1906, the single-track line has a maximum operating speed of 40km/h.

The overhaul will include work to upgrade stations, levels crossings, bridges, culverts and drainage, and will also allow operation at up to 120km/h.

Bids for the first tender are open until May 11, while bids for the second tender are open until May 12.

Separately, during a visit to Budapest, Vesić announced that Serbia and Hungary will jointly build three new cross-border lines, comprising the Subotica - Szeged and Subotica - Baja routes as well as the Belgrade - Budapest high-speed line.

The minister said both counties have completed preliminary design for the Subotica - Baja line, with the Serbian section 13km long and costing around €50m. Vesić added that the line to Baja will be financed either with EU funds or from the Serbian budget.

Hungary’s minister for construction and transport, Mr Lazar Janos, said construction of the Hungarian section of the Subotica - Szeged line would be completed in October and the new route would open to freight traffic in late 2024 or early 2025. Trains will operate at up to 160km/h on both the Subotica - Szeged and Subotica - Baja lines.

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