Last phase of Hungarian TEN-T rail project completed

2022, NIF

For the first time in two decades, a completely new section of railway tracks on the main Hungarian network has been constructed. As part of the modernisation of the line from the suburbs of Budapest to the border with Croatia, new track was built, stations were renovated and ETCS is being installed.

Prior to the completion of the section between the Százhalombatta and Ercsi junctions, the last time a new railway track was laid in Hungary was between Zalalövő and Bajánsenye, completed at the turn of the millennium. Now, as part of the renovation of the 15.7 kilometre long section, a 12.98 kilometre long two-track track was built completely new, which can be used to transport trains arriving and departing from the Danube Oil Refinery of MOL Nyrt, which is of particular importance to the Hungarian economy.

Trains will be able to travel at a speed of 120 kilometres per hour in part and up to 160 kilometres per hour in some part on the completed railway track. The condition for this is the installation of the European Train Control System (ETCS), which will be implemented in a separate project as part of the investment.

The section Százhalombatta – Pusztaszabolcs is part of the railway line from Budapest to Pécsnear the Croatian border (via Pusztaszabolcs and Dombóvár). Together with the connecting Dombóvár – Kaposvár – Gyékényes national border line, is part of the European Union TEN-T core railway network. The modernisation of the railway track was carried out in two stages by public investment company NIF (National Infrastructure Development.), which took over railway development tasks from the EU project office of Hungarian state railways MÁV in 2007. Safety equipment work parts were carried out by Siemens Mobility. The investment totals more than 300 million euros (156 billion HUF).

Eliminating bottleneck

The project is part of a larger project in order to upgrade and develop the Budapest Kelenföld – Croatian border railway line, in order to eliminate an important bottleneck along the Mediterranean corridor. The modernised railway line has a prominent role in the suburbs, and in addition, the line also serves the goods traffic of some major industrial estates.

As part of the modernisation, the electric overhead line network was renewed on the entire section, the electric variable heating system was built, 14 works of art and 6 separate level junctions were built or rebuilt. In order to reduce the impact of railway noise, a noise protection wall was erected for a total length of 1.2 kilometres. The complete reconstruction of the 12.2 kilometre long, two-track railway line section between the Ercsi branch and Pusztaszabolcs was also realised, with the modernisation of the related facilities. A total of 33 kilometres of gap-free track was built, the electric overhead line network was renovated, and electric substation heating was built.

Station renovations

Several stations were also renovated, such as Pusztaszabolcs station and Százhalombatta station. Iváncsa station was rebuilt as a stop with a new P&R and bike parking spaces. Pusztaszabolcs station was also completely renovated. “Twenty years ago, there was no example of such railway development in Hungary. Renovated and rebuilt station buildings now await passengers”, points out Zoltán Tessely, parliamentary representative of his constituency. “The development of fixed-track transport is of particular importance, and this investment will also increase in value in the future.”

The track renovation works were carried out by a consortium of Hungarian companies. The development was made using domestic funds as well as from the EU from the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) and was realised with the support of the Ministry of Technology and Industry with the investment of NIF. Artúr Kikina, director of railway development at NIF Zrt: “As a separate project phase, but in a schedule coordinated with the renewal of the railway track, a new electronic safety device and a modern passenger information and telecommunications system were also built. After today’s handover, the work on the line section will not end, as the implementation of the ETCS system is currently still underway by Siemens Mobility”.

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Author: Esther Geerts

Editor RailTech.com

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