Hungary plans to build a new railway using Chinese funds

Hungary plans to build a new railway link funded by a credit line signed with China last year to open a new freight route to western Europe, the government said on Wednesday.

The two-track link which would cross the river Danube with two bridges would cost 360 billion forints ($1.6 billion), and Hungary aims to finance it mostly from Chinese funds.

For that it needs to persuade the China Development Bank to raise the 1 billion-euro ($1.3 billion) credit line signed last year but it may use European Union funds as well if they cost less.

Extremely long travel times impair east-west freight traffic as all trains must pass through Budapest, where passenger traffic crowds the rail network, the government said.

The government now plans to build a 113-kilometre bypass to resolve this problem, said Peter Szijjarto, Secretary of State in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Szijjarto said the project could start in spring 2014 — just when Hungary will hold elections — if the Chinese bank is ready to provide the funding. Construction of what would be Hungary’s first new railway since 1948 could help the depressed economy. ($1=225.6368 Hungarian forints) ($1=0.7649 euros) (Reporting by Sandor Peto; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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Source : Reuters

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