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Belarus to launch passenger train to Hungary

Belarusian Railway is working to improve its links with the European Union. The state-owned company plans to launch a passenger rail service from Brest station, near the Polish border, to Budapest, the capital of Hungary. The start of a new service is scheduled for the middle of December.

The new train will run via Poland, Czechia and Slovakia. In addition, the service will include the direct wagons to Prague and Vienna. The travel time between Brest and Budapest will be around 20 hours. At Brest railway station, the passengers can change the train to Minsk or other Belarusian cities. The exact schedule is under development. The train will be named as Stephen Báthory in honour of the Polish king of the Hungarian descent.

More connections to Poland

Belarusian Railway will also improve railway connections with neighbouring Poland. In June, the company will launch the Brest – Warsaw seasonal train to carry passengers during the 2nd European Games 2019 to be held in Minsk. It is expected to become a regular service in December when the new train schedule will be applied.

The new train will be the second service of the Belarusian Railway to Poland. In December 2017, the company together with Polish partner, PKP Intercity, launched the combined Minsk-Brest-Warsaw service. It includes two trains with an adjusted schedule: a Belarusian train carries passengers from Minsk to Brest, while a Polish train delivers them from Brest to Warsaw. Such a combination allows to avoid a bogie exchange and to save time.

International rail service in Belarus

Currently, Belarusian Railway operates several international trains only to the neighbouring countries: Russia (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Anapa, Adler), Lithuania (Vilnius), Poland (Warsaw, Gliwice), Latvia (Riga) and Ukraine (Kyiv, Odesa). A few trains of Russian Railways run via Belarus to the European Union. They are composed of Talgo coaches equipped with variable gauge system. The Russian trains connect Moscow with Berlin, Prague, Paris, Nizza. In Belarus, they stop only at three or four stations. Also, Ukrainian Railway serves the Kyiv-Riga train that crosses the territory of Belarus.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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