Hungrail warns against V0 railway delay: “Economy could collapse” 17/04/24

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Hungarian rail association Hungrail warns against delays in the construction of the V0 railway. The railway is supposed to connect Hungary’s eastern and western regions on a dedicated freight line bypassing congested Budapest. Hungrail says that the V0 line is necessary to avoid economic collapse.


The V0 line project aspires to improve rail logistics, increase freight capacity and alleviate the heavily used infrastructure in and around the Hungarian capital. Budapest is a critical rail logistics node with multiple terminals and lines serving both intra-European and Eurasian traffic.

V0 will connect Szolnok in the east with western Győr, close to the border with Austria and Slovakia. The line’s most important features include freight-only operations and bypassing Budapest altogether, thus avoiding bottlenecks in the metropolitan area’s rail infrastructure. The area is characterised by heavy passenger traffic.

A boom in traffic

Two founders of Hungrail explain to Hungarian publication Világgazdaság that the V0 line is vital for the Hungarian economy. According to one of them, CEO of Rail Cargo Hungaria Imre Kovács, combined transport in Hungary will boom in the coming years. “Current traffic will double in a maximum of two years”, he says. Subsequently, the country needs to invest in infrastructure to cope with that growth.

Kovács points to the growth of Hungarian industry, the settling of foreign companies, the resumption of freight traffic between China, Ukraine and Western Europe and the “hoped-for” end of the war in Ukraine as factors contributing to the expected boom in traffic.

Hungrail issues a stark warning

The Rail Cargo Hungaria CEO concludes that infrastructure investments are necessary. According to Kovács, there is no alternative route to the V0 line that can absorb the expected growth in traffic. “Without V0, the entire economy can collapse, as it cannot function without transport”, he says.

“At the same time, the schedule of the investment relies on the use of existing lines, and a short section of it overlaps with the Budapest-Belgrade railway. In this way, Budapest will be able to relieve certain traffic even before V0 is finalised. Of course, the real thing will be when the line reaches Győr. The Ferencváros shunting station could be relocated to the smaller shunting station in Szolnok or the Székesfehérvár region. Without such strategic decisions, it will be difficult to serve the domestic industry and to reach factories from the ports”, concludes Kovács.


Author: Dennis van der Laan