Athens to Budapest in 13 hours by high-speed railway

Budapest Hungary

Athens has also joined the high-speed train project from Budapest to the south. This will extend the railway linking the Hungarian capital to the Serbian capital in the first phase to 1,500 kilometres.

According to the Tanjug news agency, the Serbian transport minister called the agreement between President Aleksandar Vučić and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to extend the European Corridor X to Greece a “historic victory”, Index reports.

The Hungarian government had recently hoped that the first section of the line (between Budapest and Belgrade) would be completed next year. Serbia was a little more realistic, putting 2026 as the likely delivery date.

Prior to the signing of the Serbian-Greek agreement, Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Goran Vesić guided his Greek counterpart, Christos Staikouras, along the section under construction, Blic reported. The journey on the Falcon (Sokol) took just over half an hour to Novi Sad, 76 kilometres from Belgrade. From there, it will go a further 108 kilometres to reach Subotica, near the Hungarian border.

This phase will be completed by March next year, said Vesić. He also announced a new deadline change: From Belgrade to Budapest, we will be able to travel by train in less than 4 hours in 2027.

The renovation of the Hungarian section of the line is the most expensive Hungarian railway investment of all time. The original budget of EUR 400 million was already estimated at EUR 750 million at the start of the project. It is almost certain that the final price will be even higher, despite the fact that the renovation will be carried out on a flat section, Index wrote.

In addition, the bulk of the renovation costs, 85%, will have to be financed by a Chinese loan.

Once the renovation and construction work is completed, a 1,512-kilometre high-speed railway will link Budapest and Athens. It will take just under 13 hours to get from Budapest to the Greek capital by train.

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