Railway line upgrade to cut journey times on a crucial route

The full reconstruction of a 67 km-long section of double-track railway line between Szajol and Püspökladány in eastern Hungary allows for faster train speeds, benefitting both passenger and freight services. The upgrade will benefit 80 000 local inhabitants as well as people travelling between Budapest and Debrecen, the country’s two largest cities.

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Trains can run at a maximum speed of 160 km/h on the renewed track, which will help to cut journey times between Budapest and Debrecen by 11 minutes for inter-city trains and 15 minutes for other passenger services. Freight transport times look set to come down as well – for example, by up 76 minutes between Záhony and Budapest. Another boost for freight traffic is that the changes will cater for maximum axle loads of 225 kN, thus improving capacity to move goods along the route.

A passenger-focused project

The railway line upgrade will contribute to improved levels of safety and passenger comfort, encouraging people to leave their cars at home and take the train instead. Thanks to this investment, approximately 258 passengers per day are expected to prefer the rail over the road in 2016. Furthermore, this section of track is part of main line No.100, which is classed as a Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) passenger priority line running between the Hungarian capital and the Ukrainian border.

In addition to modernising the track and delivering associated catenary, signalling and communication equipment, the project will provide for the redevelopment of five stations. This includes the extension of platform tracks to 750 m in length. Moreover, accessibility and safety will be guaranteed through the renovation of station buildings and the construction of new bus stops and parking spaces. Passenger information systems are also set to be installed, together with safety equipment, which will eventually allow for the installation of the European Train Control System (ETCS) at each station.

Other essential work concerns:

  • The elimination of five level-crossings;
  • Construction of a road bridge, three road subways and a pedestrian subway;
  • Upgrading the energy supply system.

Last but not least, 48 jobs are expected to be created during the implementation of the project.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Reconstruction of Szajol (excl.) - Püspökladány (incl.) Railway Line Section” is EUR 556 784 137, of which the EU’s Cohesion Fund is contributing EUR 372 793 189 from the Operational Programme “Transport” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. Work falls under the priority “Improving the international railway and waterway accessibility of the country and the regional centres.”

Draft date

10/12/2014